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Improvement of documentation flow and ... airfreight Valentin Demenkov
Valentin Demenkov
Improvement of documentation flow and quality in
airfreight
Lufthansa Cargo export cargo trip-files project
Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Bachelor of Business Administration
International Business and Logistics
Thesis
18.03.16
Abstract
Author(s)
Title
Valentin Demenkov
Process and documentation quality improvement
Number of Pages
Date
68 pages + 3 appendices
19 March 2016
Degree
Bachelor of Business Administration
Degree Programme
International Business and Logistics
Specialisation option
Instructor(s)
Kaija Haapasalo, Senior Lecturer
Arne Fischer, Handling Manager, Lufthansa Cargo AG
This thesis is based on the export cargo trip-files checks project, between Lufthansa Cargo
(LCAG) and Swissport Oy (SWP) at the airport of Helsinki-Vantaa in Finland. Thesis aim is
to improve documentation flow and quality in airfreight. Every station (airport) might have
different set-ups of handling activities for the same carrier. In case of Helsinki, LCAG
company has a contract for performing handling activities such as; operational air cargo
handling management, load planning, optimization, and trip-file creating with SWP. Trip-file
is a set of documents dedicated to every outbound flight, which carries cargo on board.
Trip-file contains all legally mandatory documents and operational messages, either
digitally in IT-systems or as hard-copies with signatures in the folders. Trip-file creating is
one of the activities which SWP performs as ground handling agent (GHA) for LCAG. Tripfiles checking is the process performed by LCAG along with monitoring of other quality key
performance indicators, in order to evaluate quality of job performed by GHA. It is
particularly important because LCAG either pays monthly bonuses for good performance,
or charges GHA for mistakes made based on quality indicators.
The thesis is an action based research and its main target was to improve data creating,
storing and transmitting quality between companies through process change. The
secondary target is to eliminate archiving types of mistakes in trip-files and to decrease
unnecessary additional work performed by GHA’s employees. In order to understand the
context and to perform the project, three topics were studied before the project started.
The first topic was an introduction to the reader of the air cargo industry and parties
involved in the air transportation on general level. The second was typical contract
relationship between cargo carrier and GHA under standard ground handling agreement
(SGHA). Third topic was export cargo process in detail, as well as current documentation
creation, storing and checking processes.
The targets of the project were reached because of maximum use of IT system available at
the GHA’s facility. Changes to the process were made according to the “action research
cycle” and “7 steps decision making model”. Outcomes of the implemented solution were
measured in quantitative and qualitative measures and confirmed to be successful by both
scales. Quantitative measure was based on internal trip-file checks annual statistics.
Qualitative measure was measured by collecting and analysing for qualitative
questionnaire from parties involved in the project.
This thesis presents main parties involved in air transportation and gives detailed insight
view to the complexity of air cargo export processes, which are usually behind the scene.
Keywords
Air freight, GHA, trip-file, action based research, IATA
i
Contents
List of tables and figures
1
2
3
4
5
iii
Introduction
1
1.1
Objectives and research questions
3
1.2
Methodology
4
1.3
Limitations
8
1.4
Companies profiles
8
1.4.1
Lufthansa Cargo AG
8
1.4.2
Swissport Finland Oy
9
Cargo handling processes and parties involved
10
2.1
Freight Forwarders
12
2.2
Mail companies
12
2.3
Agent types for airlines
14
2.3.1
General sales agent (GSA)
14
2.3.2
Ground handling Agent (GHA)
15
Shipment planning and monitoring system
16
3.1
19
Information flow in the transportation chain
Evaluation and monitoring of GHA’s performance
21
4.1
LH-team build-up service unit
21
4.2
Legal grounds for evaluation and monitoring of GHA’s performance
22
4.3
Current export flight preparation process
24
4.3.1
The export process from handling point of view
30
4.3.2
Flight preparation
31
Improvement of documentation flow and quality in air freight
41
5.1
Action based research
41
5.1.1
Current trip-file content and processes.
42
5.1.2
Customs documents
46
5.2
Observations. Project progress and outcome
48
6
Result and data analysis
51
7
Conclusions and recommendations
55
ii
8
7.1
Conclusive remarks
55
7.2
Recommendations
57
References
Appendices
Appendix 1. Live Warm-blooded animal acceptance checklist example
Appendix 2. Process change concept mapping
Appendix 3. Trip-file Project’s results evaluation. Qualitative questionnaire
62
iii
List of Tables and figures
Figure 1. Complete Theory of action research
5
Figure 2. The action research cycle
6
Figure 3. 7 steps decision making model Vs action research cycle
7
Figure 4. Route map time line
17
Figure 5. Informational and material flows from shipper to consignee
18
Figure 6. MAWB consolidation concept
19
Figure 7. CIMP FSU messages against Material and informational flow
20
Figure 8. Helsinki station operational set-up
21
Figure 9. GHA activities monitoring breakdown
22
Figure 10. Detailed master operating plan and C2K milestones
24
Figure 11. MAWB in form of FWB message
26
Figure 12. House AWB in form of FHL message
27
Figure 13. Flow of messages between Agents, Airlines, GHAs
28
Figure 14. Parties involved in goods flow and messaging flow
29
Figure 15. Positive acknowledgment message example
30
Figure 16. Rejection message example
30
Figure 17. Information flow versus material flow at the terminal
31
Figure 18. Warehouse activities flow
34
Figure 19. LDM message and explanation
37
Figure 20. CPM message example
37
Figure 21. Movement message example
38
Figure 22. FFM message example
39
Figure 23. UCM message example
40
Figure 24. C2K milestone against system transactions
40
Figure 25. Action based research plan
41
Figure 26. Trip-file’s structure
42
Figure 27. Trip-files check data during year 2015
51
Figure 28. Trip-file’s March to October 2015 mistakes’ nature
52
Figure 29. Document management system distinctive features
58
Table 1. Trip-file’s content breakdown
43
Table 2. Document management system’s key elements
58
Abbreviations
A2A
Airport to airport
AWB
Air Waybill
C2K
Cargo 2000
CAO
Cargo aircraft only
CIMP
Cargo Interchange message procedures
CPM
Cargo position message
DEP
Flight Departure
DLH
Deutsche Lufthansa passage
DPO
Designated post operators
FAP
Flown as Planned
FFM
Airline flight manifest message
FHL
House airwaybill extract in form of the electronic message
FMA
Positive acknowledgement message
FNA
Negative acknowledgment message
FSU
Functional service update message
FSU-OFLD
Functional service update message Off-load
FSU-SSPD
Functional service update message short shipped
FWB
Electronic AWB
GHA
Ground handling agent
GSA
General sales agent
HAWB
House Air Waybill
IATA
International Air Transport Association
IMDG
International maritime dangerous goods transportation rules
KPI
Key performance indicator
LAT
Latest Time of Acceptance
LCAG
Lufthansa cargo AG
LDM
Load distribution message
MAWB
Master Air Waybill
MOP
Master Operating Plan
NFD
Notification of the Consignee
R4C
Ready for carriage
RCF
Received from Flight
RCS
Shipment Received from Forwarder
RFS
Road feeder service
SGHA
Standard Ground Handling Agreement
SLA
Service level agreement
STD
Scheduled Time of Departure
SWP
Swissport Finland Oy
TOA
Time of Availability
UCM
Unit control message
ULD
Unit Load Device
UPU
Universal postal union
1
1
Introduction
During work placement at Lufthansa Cargo AG (LCAG) the author of the thesis was
involved in export cargo trip-file project. Aim of the project was to redesign process of
trip-file checks. Targets of the project were to make process easier, more transparent,
improve quality of documents, quality of data transition and, at the same time, comply
with Lufthansa legal frames. Trip-file checks is a part of routine process which has
been performed by LCAG in order to monitor quality of work done by ground handling
agent. Swissport Oy (SWP) is the ground handling agent (GHA) for LCAG, and
currently LCAG purchases operational air cargo handling management, load planning
and optimization from it. LH-team is a special build-up on the top of Swissport,
especially dedicated unit to do only LCAG shipments acceptance, follow-ups and
handle export irregularities. LH-Team is also mostly involved in trip-files’ preparation.
Detailed explanations about parties mentioned above will be given later in this thesis.
Trip-file itself is set of documents, mandatory for outbound flights. Conditionally we can
divide documents into types of their origin; hard copy document or digital (system
transactions). Current set up was designed in such a way that SWP archived
mandatory hardcopy documents for LCAG in folders. Transactions, which are also part
of trip-file, were done in the IT-systems and then printed out and archived together with
hard-copy documents as well. This was the existing process to provide access for
LCAG to necessary data.
There was a proposal made by both companies, that there is a need to improve the
whole process of trip-file’s creating, storing and checks because current design of the
process was outdated, required too much additional work and led to unnecessary
mistakes in trip-files. LCAG requirements for this project were: data transmitting
improvement between companies, better document flow, improving quality of the data,
easily available flight documentation and process simplification. SWP management
wanted a simplification of the process and decrease in mistakes, especially those
which were not process mistakes as such but document archiving mistakes (e. g.
transaction was done in the IT-system but printout was forgotten). LH-Team (final users
of the solution) wanted to achieve a decrease of unnecessary work (printing out
transactions). LH-Team is legally Swissport’s employees, which are formed in a team
of four persons to fulfil special LCAG’s tasks on behalf of LCAG Company.
2
The project was initiated by LCAG in the beginning of August 2015. Data collection and
studying of legal background took almost three months. Project milestone was the end
of October, when research results and three solutions were presented to all interested
parties: LCAG management, SWP Oy management and LH-Team. One of the
solutions got approved and three phases of implementation were designed. The first
and the most crucial phase was implemented immediately at the beginning of
November 2015.
Since the new process flow implementation the data of the following five months was
collected and comparing it to the old the old process flow by monitoring data of the of
tripfiles
The process change was measured in quantitative and qualitative measures.
Quantitative measurement was based on checking monthly internally the amount of
checks per month and the amount of mistakes spotted. General data level was
investigated further, in order to be able to identify the reasons which caused the
mistakes. Qualitative research was performed with help of a qualitative research
questionnaire, presented in Appendix 3 and by conducting an unstructured interview
with all parties, involved in the project (LCAG’s and SWP’s Oy management, LHTeam). Questionnaire was used for acquiring necessary data about the project and
unstructured interview was an attempt to obtain some extra valuable qualitative
information about project’s outcomes and solution’s implementation which lay outside
of questionnaire’s questions. This questionnaire, related to process improvement
assessments, was given to all parties involved in the project. LCAG’s was represented
by handling manager of Finland and Baltic States. SWP’s Oy management was
represented by cargo operations manager. LH-team was represented by three LHteam member. All mentioned persons were willing to cooperate and filled in the
questionnaire and took part in the interview.
Expected outcomes of the project were: increased quality of documents data and data
transmitting, eliminating of documents filing mistakes, making trip-file creation and
checking process more transparent and easier. Achieved improvements were
supposed to lead to exemption of free time for operational unit LH-team, which they
can use for customer service and other important job-related tasks. Finally, process
improvement was supposed to bring financial benefits for both companies. For
Swissport it would be better KPI indicators, which will be transformed into financial
3
bonuses from Lufthansa Cargo. For Lufthansa Cargo better service from GHA means
happier customers, which will retain and bring new customers, which in turn will bring
more cargo to Swissport terminal. This means, that more terminal fees could be
collected by Swissport. Project goals were possible to reach because of maximum use
of IT system available at the GHA’s facility
1.1
Objectives and research questions
The main objective of this thesis was to improve existing trip-file creation, storage, data
transmitting and check process by developing a solution, which will suit to all interested
parties. For that reason, understanding the context and general functioning of the
industry is vital. This thesis is also providing information about airfreight industry
specific operation. While writing the thesis and at the same time performing the project,
it was noticed, that operational knowledge described in this work is not commonly
known and easily available. This thesis contains information, which is possible to
gather only in practice or via expensive IATA courses. That is why the author has been
trying to examine and present the industry, shipment booking process and export
activities at the terminal as detailed as possible. Knowledge gathered in this thesis is
beneficial to share around the air freight industry, freight forwarders, shippers,
consignees and university graduates, who want to become experts in logistics.
In order to perform a project and present a clear and comprehensive picture of the
airfreight industry, four preliminary research questions were answered and peculiarities
of export process were presented before concluding the research.
Who are the clients of the cargo terminals? Where and how does the cargo terminal
earn profit?
The Answer for this question will help to get broader view of the industry. At the same
time it will present relationships between parties involved and about money flow
circulation. Money circulation is important as it partly explains who has the negotiation
power in the business
What types of agents does a cargo airline have?
4
The answer to this question will present airfreight industry from airline’s perspective.
What is C2K industry’s standardization benchmarking tool and how does the
informational flow function?
The answer will give us basic knowledge about air freight industry. It is not possible to
understand logics behind the industry (processes) without it.
What is main document, which regulates contractual relationship between airline and
ground handling agent? How does this document regulate the relationship?
The answer to this question will provide legal background for the operations.
What is an export flight preparation process?
This contains exclusive and complicated knowledge about export processes. This
makes the thesis also valuable as a descriptive document.
After the questions raised above are answered and export shipments particularities
explained, the reader will understand the “trip-file project” context and is able to follow
the process improvement.
The project was an attempt to utilize available IT-tools at the maximum level in order to
optimization work flow and reduce the amount of mistakes and time spend for the same
job. Also project’s targets were data transition and quality of data improvements.
1.2
Methodology
This thesis is an action based research. It means, that in this work theory clashes with
reality. When performing an action research Coghlan and Brannick (2010) suggest
taking into consideration four groups of factors, which are presented in Figure 1 and
discussed in the following paragraphs.
5
Contextual
factors
Quality of
relationships
Quality of
action
research
process
Outcomes of
action
research
effort
Figure 1. Complete Theory of action research (Shani and Pasmore, 2010 cited in Coghlan and
Brannick, 2010, p.5, adapted)
For the first circle “contextual factors” authors suggest to take into consideration:
individual goals of persons involved, organizational characteristics and environmental
factors. In terms of this thesis fortunately individual goals were in line with the project
because successful result was supposed to bring mutual benefits for both companies
involved. Organizational characteristics were studied on the macro level (how big
companies are globally) at the beginning of the project and then narrowed to the
Helsinki station in order to identify relationship between organizations and negotiation
power they have locally. Environmental factors such as global and local economies
were not taken into account since they had no effect on this particular project.
The second circle points to the quality of the relationship, which is paramount for
performing a good research. It is easier to implement new idea/solution among
favourable audience. In terms of this project and thesis, the author was lucky, because
on the top of contractual obligations between SWP and LCAG also good relationships
based on mutual respect existed. Author established good relationships with LH-team,
who are the final users of the project results. This helped to avoid possible abruption of
project outcomes and implementation.
The third circle indicates how to measure a quality of action research. Two parts of
action research must be in focus when assessing it: Inquiry process and
implementation process. Inquiry process was partly measured by using qualitative
questionnaire, available in Appendix 3.
The fourth circle tells the reader how to measure outcomes of the research. The first
criterion is to achieve some level of sustainability (human, social, economic or
ecological). This project aimed at positive social and economic change for both
companies, which were tested in quantitative and qualitative measurements by using
6
statistical data, qualitative questionnaire from Appendix 3 and unstructured interviews.
Second criterion is to create through research a new knowledge or develop selfcompetence, which has happened to both companies and to the thesis’s author.
There was a clear project target set by LCAG. The trip-file itself and its creation and
checking processes had a need to be improved. As was discovered later, this issue
has been in the air for a few years already. Goals for the project were set by Lufthansa
cargo as follows: better quality of documentation, process simplification and easy
available flight documentation. Swissport management wanted simplification of
procedures as well and avoiding of unnecessary mistakes. LH-team (final users of the
project’s outcomes), wanted to decrease unnecessary work. Start of the project was a
context and purpose understanding. Action research cycle, displayed in Figure 2 was
taken as a model for action.
Figure 2. The action research cycle (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010)
Action research cycle points that action research in the organisation is a closed circle.
Project’s purposes were clearly defined by parties involved, but understanding by the
author the context of the project (legal and operational) took three months and is
presented in this chapter later. Action research cycle checkpoints were plotted on the
“7 steps of decision making model”, presented in Figure 3. This plotting gives detailed
view on the action research process that took place in this project.
7
Figure 3. 7 steps decision making model Vs action research cycle (Umassd.edu, 2016,
adapted)
Combination of “7 steps decision making model” and “Action research cycle”,
presented in Figure 3, gives solid theoretical grounds for performing this project. Due to
the project specificity, steps one and two were cross-placed. Even though target was
set from the beginning, first step “identify the decision to be made” was done as step
number 2, only after information gathered and context understood.
This thesis is structured in 7 chapters. The introduction chapter presents goals of the
study and formulates the research questions to be answered, before performing an
action based research. From chapter 1 to chapter 4 an industry review is provided and
parties involved are identified. These chapters are matching first box from Figure 1,
understanding of the contextual factors. Chapter 4.3 presents unique data, of export
process at very detailed level, gathered during internship. During acquiring
understanding of the process author was closely interacting with field work performers,
the LH team. Constructive interaction led to establishing good relationships which led in
turn to project facilitation. Action based research, based on trip-files project is
presented in chapter 5. Project’s preliminary work inquiries were performed in chapter
5 and project implementation is explained there as well. Author’s personal engagement
8
in the project and understanding of its significance helped to achieve good
performance level thorough action-based-research process. Research evaluation is
described in chapter 6. Chapter 7 is dedicated to conclusions and recommendations.
1.3
Limitations
The same carrier might have operational set up at each station, and this is the main
limitation of the thesis. Since this project was implemented in Helsinki-Vantaa airport,
project outcome is only relevant to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Project key elements are:
carrier has own sales branch in the area, cargo handling agent activities are outscored.
GHA is using Cargospot as main handling system, since there were no opportunities to
try to perform same project with another GHA/IT-system. Most descriptions and
functions of GHA and GSA are narrowed to cargo part only since author’s internship
was held in all-cargo airline. Project scope is one trip-file, which is dedicated to one
export flight. Hence project scope might be also described as one export flight.
1.4
1.4.1
Companies profiles
Lufthansa Cargo AG
LCAG is subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. At the same time LCAG owns several
other companies. “Handling counts” GmbH (shares 100%), is the warehouse operator
for Lufthansa in Frankfurt. Frankfurt is the main hub of the company. When the scope
of operations is big, as in Frankfurt, then it is wise to have own staff in the house.
Another company under LCAG is a unit-load-device (ULD) steering and leasing
company, Jettainer GmbH (100%). ULDs are expensive and airlines want to have only
necessary amount of them at each station and not surplus. Jettainer steers ULD’s
distribution for LCAG, as well as gives ULD’s for lease to other airlines. One more
company, which is appropriate to mention in terms of cargo, is a joint venture of DLH
and DHL, the all-cargo carrier AeroLogic GmbH (50%). One more company partly
owned by LCAG is express delivery courier company “time:matters” GmbH (49%). This
company, among other services, provides same-day-shipment with door-to-door
delivery within Europe. In other joint ventures LCAG does not have a significant
9
amount of shares and that is why they are not mentioned here. (Lufthansa-cargo.com,
2016)
The main base of LCAG is Frankfurt airport. Secondary hubs are Vienna and Munich.
Company’s hierarchy is divided into four areas; Helsinki station is number third in the
management hierarchy with its own area; with main headquarters in Frankfurt and
second level headquarters is Stockholm. At the same time Helsinki is a headquarter for
Finland and Baltic countries: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
LCAG utilizes two types of own all cargo aircrafts (freighters); McDonnell-Douglas MD11F (16 aircrafts) and Boeing 777F (5 aircrafts). Legally LCAG buys belly capacities on
Deutsche Lufthansa’s and Austrian Airlines’ passenger flights, and capacities on
B777F of the joint venture with DHL AeroLogic. One more important transportation
option in goods transportation is Road feeder services (RFS). RFS means trucks,
which are feeding or de-feeding goods to/from airport. (Lufthansa-cargo.com, 2016)
LCAG’s Helsinki station is linked daily to Frankfurt and Munich by three narrow-body
flights to each destination. Also Helsinki is linked to Frankfurt with overnight capacity on
freighter aircraft from external supplier and regular RFS connections to Frankfurt and
Munich. Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius are connected with passenger flights of Deutsche
Lufthansa to Frankfurt only, twice per day. Vilnius has also one more connection to the
secondary hub Vienna with passenger flights of Austrian airlines, once per day.
Frequent RFS trucks help to keep up with capacity on demand. LCAG’s Helsinki sales
branch consists of 12 employees, among them 2 interns. Sales force is grouped into
the three teams with different sales targets and clients for each team. Helsinki is also
unique station for LCAG due to the fact that the carrier (LCAG) and GHA (SWP) are
creating symbiosis and synergy, which is not common for “Client-Service provider”
relationships. Results are outstanding quality, but more work load for LCAG managers.
1.4.2
Swissport Finland Oy
Today, it is estimated that more than 50% of all handling is carried out by independents
and this growing handling business is estimated to be worth annually US$80bn, with
more than 1,000 ground handling players worldwide (Groundhandling.com, 2015).
10
Swissport Finland Oy is part of Swissport international LTD, which was recently bought
by China’s HNA group co. HNA group also owns China’s fourth biggest airline “Hainan
Airlines” and sea container leasing company SeaCo Srl (Bloomberg.com, 2015). This
acquisition happened in July 2015, but seems to have no local effect on Helsinki station
in workforce or management level. Swissport Oy is independent and airline-neutral
ground handling agent. It means that the same scope of services at same quality level
will be provided to every handled airline regardless the size of the airline and freight
volume (Swissport.com, 2016).
Company operates approximately 120 warehouses and with a help of some 61,000
employees moves annually around 4.1 million tons of Cargo. Swissport is present in
more than 290 stations (airports), in some 48 countries worldwide (Swissport.com,
2016).
In Finland Swissport is represented by one station, Helsinki-Vantaa. Swissport in
Helsinki-Vantaa had two legal entities; Swissport cargo services and Swissport ramp.
During the internship of the author and thesis process, two legal entities became one,
named Swissport Finland Oy. Swissport Finland Oy cargo department (former separate
legal entity) has approximately 80 employees (office and terminal workers) and handles
such airlines as: Aeroflot, Air Bridge Cargo, Air Baltic, Air France – KLM, Lufthansa,
Norwegian, Scandinavian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines. Swissport Oy at HelsinkiVantaa provides such services as: cargo security screening, ready for carriage service,
bonded warehousing, ULD control and management, full freighter ramp handling, cargo
and mail handling, back office support, full export & import document handling including
AWB check & data capture, planning & disposition (Swissport.com, 2016). Some of the
named activities will be presented later in this thesis.
2
Cargo handling processes and parties involved
Everyone wants to ship cargo fast and secure and that is why secure supply chain in
airfreight exists. Secure supply chain for air cargo means that individual members
perform security controls and protect secured consignments from unlawful interference
throughout their journey. “Potential actors in the secure supply chain are account
11
consignors or known consignors, which originate cargo or mail and regulated agents
that screen and/or forward cargo or mail to air carriers, which are the final node. Known
and account consignors are typically manufacturers of the cargo” (Ec.europa.eu, 2016).
In the EU, all actors in the secure supply chain need to be approved by the aviation
security authority of an EU Member State. An appropriate authority, in Finland is TraFi.
Transportation chain should not be interrupted or duplicated the same security
activities in order to speed up delivery. If secure chain is interrupted at any point of
transportation, for example RFS truck arrives without seal or with not properly fixed
door cable, which led to the fact that doors could be opened and closed, security
screening will be performed again. New screening costs time and money. Swissport as
cargo handling service provider is authorized to do security screening and dangerous
goods acceptance (Swissport.com, 2016).
There is a cargo terminal duopoly in Helsinki-Vantaa airport. If shipper wants to pass
goods through security control and be delivered to the aircraft, then you will choose
between Swissport and Finnair cargo, based on the airline you booked cargo to fly. It is
appropriate to mention that Swissport owns and operates in own facility with help of
own employees. Contrary to it, Finnair cargo owns its facility but warehouse operator is
Transval for them. There are three more limitations to aforementioned. First, if
regulated agent (trusted air freight chain link) will deliver secured (screened by them)
general cargo, then freight will by-pass security screening but the agent will still pay
export handling fee. Second, integrators are different. Such companies as DHL and
TNT have own access to the airfield, warehouse and security screening, and UPS has
the right to pass security gate on the own sealed truck for loading goods into own
aircraft. Third limitation to above mentioned is off-the-airport cargo terminal concept.
ASR cargo center is the company located nearby the airport, but has no own access to
air field. They are focused on RFS services for airlines which are not present in
Helsinki. ASR company describes themselves as a neutral 3rd party service provider
and states that “over 70% of all air cargo to/from/via Finland is trucked today” (Cargocenter.com, 2016). This gives the company the opportunity to get big share of the
Finnish market.
12
2.1
Freight Forwarders
Swissport as cargo service provider charges customers for services provided. There
are several things for which forwarders will pay to Swissport. Outbound there is general
“export handling and terminal fee”, which forwarder must pay due to shipment passing
through the terminal to airfield. On the top there are fees for security screening for
unknown consignor. If goods physics does not match to airwaybill or booking, then
deviation fee will be imposed. If product is special, such as dangerous goods or live
animal, extra fee will be collected for acceptance check. For inbound handling there is
general handling fee and release charge. On the top there is a storage fee which can
be avoided, since notification for delivery day and the following weekday is free of
charge. Swissport has relatively small warehouse and the idea of having it small is that
shipments come and go fast. Therefore “motivation” progressive tariff is used. The
longer shipment is at the Swissport facilities, the bigger the charge per day will be.
Money is good motivation for picking up goods fast. Swissport charges and progressive
daily storage cost structure can be found on-line at Swissport official web site
(Swissport.com, 2016).
2.2
Mail companies
Historically mail is not cargo and mail companies used to be national mail companies,
one per country. Nowadays airmail is cargo and mail companies have become more
like freight forwarders, but not completely. Since 1911, the Designated Post Operators
(DPO) of the world have counted on the airlines to provide fast and reliable services for
their mail products. Airlines are also keen to keep an activity that represents around
10% of their cargo business (Iata.org, 2016). Nowadays International Bureau, known
as Universal post union, is functioning to create guidelines and standardize processes
worldwide. For Finland and Baltics it is fair to say, that for some stations, which were
monitored during the internship, volume of incoming mail measured in “scale weight”
per month, is greater than import cargo weight. It confirms contemporary situation that
mail becomes cargo.
First thing which differentiates cargo and mail is a contract of carriage. Main contract of
carriage for cargo is Airwaybill, but for mail it is a delivery bill, which can be done in one
of different contract forms (CN 37, CN 38, CN 41 or CN 47), or they can be replaced
13
nowadays electronically by CARDIT message. The CARDIT message is a
consignment-level message, which is sent from a postal operator to a carrier (airline)
and contains information about a consignment of mail handed over to a carrier (UPU,
2016). Second difference is a terminal fee, charged by GHA. GHA charges differently
mail companies in comparison to airlines or forwarders. Price for mail companies is
usually “all in” per unit (might be 100kg or 1t); Terminal and security fees are usually
inside all-in tariff. Third and most sufficient difference is that forwarders are trained
industry professional who know how to ship, declare and label goods. In case of mail
companies, it is generally the opposite. Common post employee, when accepting
parcels for air transportation, has no idea about IATA dangerous goods rules, or rules
of carriage of lithium batteries.
Nowadays, equipment works on li-ion or li-metal batteries. Hence, there is no chance to
stop the trade and shipping of batteries. Lithium batteries are dangerous for carriage
due to the fact that they are easy to ignite by themselves if damaged or contacted with
another metals. Furthermore it is extremely difficult to stop the fire. Rules and reasons
for lithium batteries restrictions are explicitly described for example on the UK Civil
Aviation Authority web-site. In order to make this process safer and easier for
everyone, special setup is established, accordingly to the European Union resolutions.
“The European Union has a robust and well-established air cargo and mail security regime
wherein all cargo and mail must be physically screened or come from a secure supply chain
before being loaded onto an aircraft. Purpose is to ensure the absence of articles that could be
used to commit an act of unlawful interference, such as explosive devices” (Ec.europa.eu,
2016).
Postal companies can get a right to ship li-ion batteries, if they get an approval from
local civil aviation authorities. In Finland this authority is TraFi. This approval will
automatically list mail company on UPU’s list of authorized mail companies. This could
be enough, but sometimes there is a third step; approval by the carrier. Recently Posti
Ltd has gotten an approval from TraFi and since 1st of January 2016, it has the right for
accepting equipment, which contains admissible lithium cells as mail. (Upu.int, 2016)
Airmail is nowadays a headache for the GHA’s. Most common issue is shipping of LiIon batteries and Li-Metal batteries, as well pressurized gases and flammable liquids.
When those are shipped as cargo, it is mandatory for them to be checked, packed and
labelled accordingly. In case of airmail, we generally face person-to-person business,
basically internet shopping. Very often seller has no idea about the IATA regulations
14
and packaging instructions. Recent case, when Panzer-Faust grenade was found in
the air-mail at security screen in Vilnius cargo terminal, indicates importance level of
the problem. On 19th of November 2015 in one of the parcels from air-mail it was found
a moulage of Panzer Faust grenade without explosives inside. Cargo terminal work
was interrupted for several hours and bomb squad was called to analyse the moulage
(Ru.euronews.com, 2016).
2.3
Agent types for airlines
There are many factors which affect airline’s operational set-up at each station. Two
main factors will be presented in this chapter. First is the presence of own sales branch
at the station or GSA. Second is existing of own ground handling at the station or GHA.
If an airline has own ground handling staff at the station, then it is most likely to be the
hub station. For LCAG examples of these are Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna. When
operations scale is significant enough to have own sales staff at the station, then
company establishes own sales branch but buys ground handling services from ground
handling agent (GHA). As an example for LCAG this is in Helsinki. LCAG heavily relies
on Swissport in day-to-day operations. Cargo handling and flight optimization is always
done in Swissport terminal for all three types of transportation out of Helsinki;
passenger flights, Freighter flights, and RFS.If station is relatively new or operations
scale is small, it is economically not wise to have own sales office. Then the airline
contracts general sales agent (GSA) to represent airline. For the same economical
reason airline buys ground services from local GHA. LCAG’s station examples with
GSA and GHA are Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius. LCAG’s GSA in Tallinn is “Airproxy”
(Airproxy.ee, 2016) and GHA is “Cargo handling” (Ch.ee, 2016). In Riga LCAG is
represented by the same GSA “Airproxy” and handled by “AG handling” (Aghandling.lv,
2016). In Vilnius LCAG is represented and handled by “Litcargus” (LITCARGUS, 2016).
2.3.1
General sales agent (GSA)
A general sales agent (GSA) is a sales representative for an airline in a specific country
or region. Usually GSA serves more than one airline at the same time and declares
themselves as neutral to every carrier. GSA, besides sales, does on behalf of the
airline also representation, marketing and market reports to the airline that gives airline
15
up-to-date statistical data for further decisions related to the station. GSA as
representative of the airline has access to the airline’s booking systems, knows special
products and products restrictions, and understands particularities of those. GSA
creates and maintains booking reservations on customer’s request, handles
irregularities and does follow-ups of discrepancies exactly the same way as own
airlines sales team would do. (Crossracer.aero, 2016). Several examples of GSA’s in
Helsinki area are: Kales airline service Oy, Nordic GSA Oy and Nordic air Oy.
2.3.2
Ground handling Agent (GHA)
Airlines and GHA are in symbiosis. GHA provides services and Airlines bring
customers to the terminal. Therefore this gives a GHA an opportunity to charge a
terminal fee and other fees from forwarders/consignees. This is why GHA’s is more
loyal to airlines. Each airport usually has several service providers and they compete
for handling of the airlines. The fee which cargo handling provider charges the airline is
confidential, contrary to publically available import/export charges for freight forwarders
and consignees.
Official IATA definition for Ground handling agent is: The entity authorized to act for or
on behalf of the carrier, for accepting, handling, loading/unloading, transiting, or dealing
with cargo, passengers and baggage (IATA, 2009).
Ground handling agent’s (GHA) physical activities in terms of cargo operations could
be divided into two parts; Ramp handling and Terminal Cargo handling. Ramp services
include: moving cargo to/from aircraft, loading and unloading of cargo, push back and
taxiing of the aircraft. Terminal cargo services could be subdivided into terminal
handling and documentation (information) handling. Terminal handling examples are;
building–up and breaking down transportation units, loading ULDs, control ULD’s stock
and serviceability. Documentation (information handling) examples are acceptance of
general cargo and special cargo, performing ready for carriage checks (matching
physics to AWB and booking), release of operational messages in the IT-systems and
performing tracing actions. Currently in Helsinki we have four GHA’s; Aviator (ramp
services only), Finnair cargo (cargo handling services only), Swissport (ramp and
terminal cargo services), and Airpro (Finavia daughter company, ramp services only).
ASR-Cargo is the fifth GHA in the Helsinki but located “off the airport” and it currently
16
has no access to runway. Therefore, they provide services only to RFS and their
business differs from the first four GHAs aforementioned.
3
Shipment planning and monitoring system
“C2K is an air cargo industry standard quality and benchmarking tool for freight
forwarders and air carriers. C2K is a system of shipment planning and performance
monitoring for air cargo based on definition of common business process and
milestones” (Iata.org, 2015).
The kernel of the process is master operating plan (MOP) or route map against which
shipment progress is monitored. There are three types of MOPs. Relative to the carrier
is Airport to airport (A2A) master operating plan, concerning master AWB level.
Definitions and explanations for HAWB and MAWB will be provided later in this
chapter. Figure 2 shows parties involved in the goods transportation form Shipper(S) to
Consignee(C) and steps involved. In this thesis due to the research limitations we will
talk about A2A master operating plan only (airline’s part). Accordingly to IATA it
consists of 7 steps, which is highlighted with green in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Master operating plan types (Iata.org, 2015)
These 7 steps are also called C2K’s milestones (Air-cargo-how-it-works.blogspot.de,
2011) and they are:
1. FWB - The shipment is booked at the airline. Next an electronic air waybill is
generated by agent (forwarder). This creates the so-called route map in C2K in which
all the steps are followed.
2. RCS - Cargo and documents are received as 'Ready for carriage'(R4C) and
accepted by airline or GHA on behalf of airline. R4C means that goods’ physical
characteristics (dimensions, volume, amount of pieces and descriptions) match
17
booking and AWB. At the same time shipment must be accompanied by proper
documents, packed in airworthy package and labelled accordingly to IATA’s rules. If
there is a mismatch in any of these, shipment must not be accepted. If there is a
deviation in physical characteristics above tolerance level set by airline from booking
and from AWB, then AWB and booking must be amended, which may lead to the
quotation correction.
3. DEP - Cargo and documents departed at airport of origin.
4. ARR - Cargo and documents arrived at airport of destination.
5. RCF - Cargo has arrived in the cargo bay at final destination. Cargo and air waybill
are administratively received in the system.
6. NFD - Cargo and documents ready for pick-up at airline’s or GHA’s facilities. The
customer (forwarder) is notified.
7. DLV - Cargo and documents delivered to customer (forwarder)
Figure 4 shows IATA’s example of master operating plan (route map) and actual
sequences of events. Three key milestones which LCAG monitors in day to day routine
are: received from shipper (RCS), departed as planned (DEP), notified for delivery as
planned (NFD).
Figure 4. Route map time line (Iata.org, 2015, adapted)
Airline has an obligation to deliver goods as promised (TOA), if customer delivers R4C
goods before last time of acceptance (LAT) for performing RCS. This is mostly what
freight forwarders know about airfreight. Airline (or GHA on behalf of airline) must
perform RCS before LAT or otherwise it will be C2K non-compliant case. Performing
RCS on the same minute as LAT is set also treats as C2K non-compliant case. LAT
18
varies for different shipments’ types but in general it is three hours before flight
departure for LCAG’s basic product “td.Pro” and two hours before departure for
express products “td.Flash”. Even though MOP is created in the moment of issuing of
AWB by the agent (booking is done before in most cases and quotations are
confirmed), all possible changes in the routing and booking could be made before
RCS. At the moment of RCS responsibility for the freight is transferred from the agent
to the airline and MOP is “sealed” and TOA is set. Goods’ notification for delivery
(NFD) after TOA is lead to the breach of the contract of carriage and possible legal
consequences for the airline.
There are several documents involved in the shipping process. The first one is a
contract of sale between shipper and consignee, based on which seller creates an
invoice. Next level is a contract of carriage between forwarder and shipper called
house airwaybill (HAWB). Master airwaybill is a contract of carriage between forwarder
and the carrier. In terms of this thesis carrier is Lufthansa Cargo. Master Airwaybill
might be issued for every single HAWB or it might be a consolidation document for
several HAWBs. Informational and material flows between shipper-agent-carrier-agentconsignee are presented in Figure 5.
Figure 5. Informational and material flows from shipper to consignee (Iata.org, 2009)
19
This information flow is representing moving of set of documents, accompanying the
shipment. It usually looks like sealed envelope with invoice, packing list and other
relative documents and stapled on the top MAWBs copies. This scheme is presenting
general level of material and transportation flow. More detailed level with transactions
involved from IT systems will be presented later in this thesis. The concept of
consolidation of several HAWB into one MAWB is presented in Figure 6.
HAWB
HAWB
HAWB
MAWB
Figure 6. MAWB consolidation concept (Lufthansa Cargo, 2014)
Examples of consolidation are:
“Agent has several different shipments from several different consignees that have the same
point of origin and destination. Solution for this case is: for every separate shipment a House Air
Waybill (HAWB) is issued and for all the HAWBs consolidated a Master Air Waybill (MAWB) is
issued. This way carriers can process the consignment, which otherwise would be multiple
MAWB instead of one. A shipment can have both MAWB and HAWB even if there only is one
HAWB issued for the MAWB – this is also known as “back-to-back” and considered a
consolidated shipment” (Lufthansa Cargo, 2014)
3.1
Information flow in the transportation chain
Nowadays information flow is as important as physical flow of goods. Customers want
real-time-tracking of their shipments and this is a must for contemporary logistics
operation. Very often freight forwarders, GHAs and carriers have different IT systems,
and those systems have a need to understand each other. With development of IT
solutions this issue becomes less and less important, but still some misunderstanding
between systems arises from time to time. In order to eliminate misunderstanding as
much as possible IATA, in collaboration with member airlines, has developed a Cargo
Interchange Message Procedures (CIMP) manual, which describes in details, what is
20
mandatory, conditional and optional for a various messages (Iata.org, 2016). The most
crucial one of the messages are FHL, FWB, FFM, FSU messages. These will be
described in details later in chapter 4.3.There are several set-ups recommended by
IATA, which could be in place, based on the full carrier presence, or presence through
GSA and GHA (Iata.org, 2009) .Typical material and informational flow in a case when
at both stations airline has own sales office is presented in Figure 7. This is very typical
operational set up.
Figure 7. CIMP FSU messages against Material and informational flow (Iata.org, 2014)
Figure 7 shows how transactions in IT systems match informational flow and physical
movement of the goods, and when shipment milestones are created accordingly to
Cargo 2000 (C2K) standards.
21
4
4.1
Evaluation and monitoring of GHA’s performance
LH-team build-up service unit
Otto Heiska explicitly described the uniqueness of outsourced service unit set-up at
LCAG’s Helsinki station in his thesis: “Improving quality and operational reliability
through organizational change” (2015). Helsinki’s LH-Team set-up scheme is
presented in Figure 8. This scheme is based on the author’s work experience and was
verified to be correct by handling and quality manager of LCAG in Helsinki.
LH - Cargo (Sales,
flight control)
GHA (Swissport Oy)
Swissport 's cargo
department
(building-up and
breaking down
ULDs)
LH -Team
(Acceptance, Export
related
irregularities, followups, tracing)
Ramp services
through the same
ramp contract as
LH passage
Swissport's ramp
department
(transportation to
the aircraft )
Figure 8. Helsinki station operational set-up
It is a bit confusing to understand when LCAG sales responsibilities are over and LHteam (legally employees of Swissport) starts because they are tightly interconnected.
Responsibilities are divided as in Figure 8. Main sales office’s activities are to do initial
rate negotiation and confirm sales in the IT system. Sales office has the right to set up
additional RFS flights or cancel them. At the same time LH-Team might do the same
on permission. LH-team responsibilities: In addition to the standard handling agent
services such as cargo acceptance, special cargo checks and flight preparations are
that LH-team produces load planning and optimization services as well as acts as the
primary contact for customers after the cargo has been accepted for transport (Heiska,
2015). Swissport terminal does physical job for building-up units for transportation,
literally loads freight on/into ULDs and fixes them with lashing material for safe
transportation, or brakes down ULDs and counts goods received. Ramp department
22
helps cargo to “cross last mile” between terminal and aircraft. Each segment of flight
preparation must be done thoroughly and on time, because passenger aircraft turnaround time (for unloading and loading) is less than one hour.
4.2
Legal grounds for evaluation and monitoring of GHA’s performance
Legal grounds for defining relationships between carrier and GHA will be presented in
this chapter. Standard Ground Handling Agreement (SGHA) is the main contract which
defines relationship between LCAG and Swissport. SGHA’s version and specific
charges and service level targets between LCAG and SWP are confidential. In general
IATA updates SGHA every 5 years. Latest version is SGHA-2013. Example of SGHA 2013 can be found at Swissport’s official web site (Swissport.com, 2013). Agreement
itself specifies Ground Handling operations in extensive details. Activities breakdown
from the agreement’s top level to the particular activities is presented in Figure 9. The
Figure 9 is based on the author’s work experience and verified to be correct by LCAG’s
handling and quality manager in Helsinki.
SGHA
SLA
BONUSMALUS
Elements of
B-M
Actions
•Main contract between LCAG and Swissport
•Specifies all ground operations in extensive detail, which the contracting parties agree upon
•SLA is an Appendix to Annex B of SGHA.
•All performance evaluation tools , service targets and quality management measures are specified in SLA
•Monthly report, measuring GHA's KPI and compares it to the targets, set in SLA
•Each indicator has a certain value(multiplication factor) in reference to the final figure
•Monthly figure converts into euro: Bonus(if resul t is positive) or malus (if result is negative)
•C2K KPI monitoring analysis: DEP (E), NFD
•Local monitoring: BQA, trip-files, RFS handling, Warehouse checks
•Complex of export processes
•Timely information input
•Warehouse condition
Figure 9. GHA activities monitoring breakdown
23
SHGA is divided into three parts: main agreement with 12 chapters inside, annex A and
annex B. SGHA is designed to be signed by parties as it is, but LCAG includes
additional appendix, called service level agreement SLA. SLA is an appendix to annex
B of SGHA. SLA specifies in detail all performance evaluation tools, service targets and
quality management measures. Based on description of the KPI in the SLA, LCAG
designs a report known as Bonus-Malus, which is filled on a monthly basis. BonusMalus report’s KPIs could be divided into two parts: KPI accordingly to C2K and local
monitoring performance KPIs.
Two C2K’s KPIs are DEP and NFD. DEP monitors that shipment departed from the first
station as planned, and according to the master operating plan. NFD indicator monitors
that goods were available at the airport of destination, before the time of the availability
(TOA) promised to the customer and consignee has been notified for picking-up the
goods. These two statistical KPI’s are produced by Lufthansa centrally and might be
slightly adjusted on the regional level.
Local monitoring part consists of four main activities; Booking quality assurance (BQA)
checks, trip-file checks, RFS handling and warehouse checks. LCAG checks condition
of terminal on weekly basis and makes thorough checks whether LH’s ULDs and load
material are properly stored and damage avoided. Another important part of the
warehouse check is to verify import and export goods separation in the terminal,
labelling, and storing places. E.g. dangerous goods must be in dangerous goods
lockers or specially designated area.
Booking quality assurance (BQA) is a requirement by LCAG to check AWB stated
weight and compare it with the actual weight of goods. Goods must be checked if they
match one of the following parameters; 1) One of the pieces is bigger than 150 kg
(special handling code HEA) 2) One of the pieces is longer than 320 centimetres
(special handling code BIG) 3) Whole shipment weight is more than 500kg 4) Whole
shipment net volume is more than 3 cubic meters. BQA is a list of shipments which
GHA is supposed to check and compare to the list of actual checks done on weekly
basis.
RFS handling is monitoring inputs of RFS movement messages into IT-system. This
will be described later in chapter 4.3. Due to the system design, movement messages
must be created within 60 minutes after actual departure or arrival of RFS. In addition,
24
the amount of RFS flights departed late is monitored and if late departure happens
because of GHA’s mistake, this mistake will be recorded into Bonus-Malus.
Trip-file is a result of flight preparation and flight departure. Trip-file is a set of
documents, which contains all necessary flight documents. It is agreed that LCAG
checks between 100 and 120 trip-files monthly. Trip-file is a set of documents, which
means that that it is target is to check, but also to verify that it is GHA does its job
correctly and understands processes behind it. Content of trip-file will be described in
details in chapter 5.
4.3
Current export flight preparation process
In this chapter current physical goods flow, informational flow and detailed view to
activities which happen at GHA premises are described. The map for activities and
navigation tool is Airport-to-airport MOP designed by IATA and presented in Figure 10.
Figure 10 presents master operating plan in an easy and understandable way, with
time line from up to down. In this chapter we will look into processes and transactions
behind milestones BKD, FWB, RCS, and DEP.
Figure 10. Detailed master operating plan and C2K milestones (Iata.org, 2014)
25
BKD
All starts with a booking. Booking might be done on-line from Lufthansa-cargo web site
or via contacting local sales office. In Helsinki LCAG does not work with “cash-in”
customers but with agents (freight-forwarders) only. Crucial information for creation
booking is: dimensions, weight, volume, amount of pieces and goods nature. Some
goods, due to their nature, are allowed for transportation only on cargo aircraft, some
might require special package and some goods might be prohibited at all for
transportation on particular route (embargoes). Those are key elements, which must be
clarified at this stage. Airline’s sales office (or representative) mentions agent’s AWB
number in the booking, but does not issue the AWB. Agent has own stocks of MAWBs
and it is entirely their responsibility to create and issue correct AWB and forward it to
the airline.
FWB
When booking is done and price is agreed. The agent issues MAWB. MAWB is the
contract of carriage between LCAG and an agent and by issuing it, agent “signs” this
contract on specific terms specified in the booking. We need to take into consideration
that booking and MAWB issuing processes are done in two various systems. That is
why later at RCS it is crucial to match shipment with booking and MAWB. When MAWB
is issued, FWB message is sent from agent’s system to LCAG’s system in a certain
format, described in CIMP. There is a cargo community system between agent and
airline, which automatically checks FWB messages to comply with CIMP standards.
Next LCAG’s system forwards FWB message to the GHA’s system. FWB message is
Master Air Waybill (MAWB) information which is extracted as data and compiled in a
special message format that needs to comply with the IATA standards and CIMP
regulations (Ccnhub.com.au, 2016). Example of FWB message is presented in Figure
11.
26
Figure 11. MAWB in form of FWB message (Ccnhub.com.au, 2016)
We need to understand regardless of the type of AWB; Electronic AWB contract of
carriage, or paper AWB contract of carriage is that there is always FWB message. Very
rarely customer might deliver goods accompanied only by printed on paper AWB to the
terminal (GHA’s facilities), and then there would not be a FWB message in the GHA’s
system. In such a case GHA will check that booking exists and it matches paper AWB
and goods are delivered. Next step for GHA is to enter FWB data into their system
manually and send FWB message from it to the LCAG system.
RCS
Received from shipper milestone is the moment when responsibility for the goods is
passed from shipper to the carrier. RCS accordingly to the C2K standard must be
performed before LAT set. In order to take responsibility for right goods airline or GHA
on airline’s behalf must do two things before RCS: Standard data capture (SDC) and
R4C (ready for carriage check).SDC means that all necessary informational messages
relative for the shipment are captured in IT systems. R4C means that goods delivered
for transportation are properly packed, labelled, accompanied with proper documents
and these physical identification criteria do match to information, captured in the
systems. These abbreviations and actions behind are described later in this chapter.
Acceptance process starts with freight on hand status (FOH), which means that goods
are delivered to the terminal to be examined. This status is not handled by all systems
27
worldwide and its considered to be optional. Standard data capture process begins
when GHA receives MAWB in form of FWB for a shipment (or paper copy) and
additionally in case of consolidation all HAWBs are allocated to this consolidation in
form of FHLs (could be paper backed as well. FHL is House Air Waybill (HAWB)
information which is extracted as data and compiled in a special message format that
needs to comply with the IATA standards and regulations (Ccnhub.com.au, 2016).
Example of FHL message is presented in Figure 12.
Figure 12. House AWB in form of FHL message (Ccnhub.com.au, 2016)
At the moment when all messages are received by GHA, SDC process is “paused” and
R4C process takes part. Ready for carriage means that goods delivered by the agent
match the booking and the MAWB. Parameters to check are: dimensions, weight,
amount of pieces and volume are booked and as described in AWB. Weight and
volume characteristics do not exceed tolerance level set by the airline. Goods’ package
must be airworthy and properly labelled with MAWB sticker and necessary product
specific stickers (e.g. dangerous goods labels, etc.). For consolidation shipments, sum
of characteristics (weight and volume) from HAWB must be equal to the final figure on
the MAWB. If all conditions are met, then GHA continues SDC process, updates FWB
with necessary additional information (usually security screening special handling
codes), and sends out to the airline an updated FWB.
One more important thing to check before RCS is “Not OK to forward” (NOK) status.
NOK procedure is dedicated to get confirmation from the consignee or forwarder at the
destination station that they know about goods coming and they promise to pick them
up. NOK is a special handling code which is located in the booking and warns you: “do
not ship goods before OK to forward is being received”. If OK to forward is received,
then NOK must be removed from the booking’s special handling codes. It is important
28
to get approval for certain shipments (live animals, dangerous, radioactive goods, etc.)
because carrier is responsible for goods during the carriage, and if no one will pick
them up at destination point, then carrier(accordingly to internal LCAG’s “Cargo
handling manual) must do some of the following: 1) return them to the port of origin 2)
sell them on the open auction in order to cover terminal handling costs at the port of
destination 3) take care of disposition and recycling of goods (important for radioactive
shipments for example). This process helps to avoid unnecessary work and costs. Only
after all above mentioned GHA will perform RCS. This process guarantees that right
goods are available at the cargo terminal at right time, ready for carriage, properly
labelled and all necessary information is successfully processed and available in
respective systems.
Agents, airlines, and GHAs could send FWB and FHL messages several times before
RCS is done. Figure 13 shows information flow between parties involved.
Figure 13. Flow of messages between Agents, Airlines, GHAs (Siacargo.com, 2016)
In order to be sure that message is correct and processed correctly at right time,
agents and GHA receive FNA or FMA messages from any of the Cargo community
system they use or from Airline’s system. Some cargo community systems are called
TRAXON CargoHUB, CCNhub.
Information flow presented in Figure 12 must be in harmony and standardized. Cargo
community systems are tools for it. TRAXON cargoHUB page has very good illustration
(Figure 14) how many parties could be involved in the transportation chain and
messaging flow.
29
Figure 14. Parties involved in goods flow and messaging flow (Champ.aero, 2016)
LCAG is an airline and has iCargo-based system as a mother system for handling and
processing data (Ibsplc.com, 2016). Swissport (GHA) has Cargospot as a mother
system (Swissport.com, 2016) and there are also more systems involved. Fortunately
they usually work in harmony. Traxon cargoHUB, or any other CargoHUB system
efficiently links members of the global airfreight community, irrespective of their IT
configuration or systems. “It enables all parties along the supply chain to achieve high
levels of real-time electronic information exchange and to participate in industry
initiatives such as e-AWB and e-freight” (Champ.aero, 2016).
There is very useful tool for young professionals, the “Parse2.com”, where Cargo-IMP
messages may be syntactically validated (Parse2.com, 2016). This tool allows you to
identify quickly where mistake in the message is, but for correction, sender needs to
know rules and standards from CIMP manual.
FMA message is a positive acknowledgement or receipt for an FWB or FHL message
that has successfully passed the IATA guideline checks and has been forwarded to the
required Airline and/or GHA” (Ccnhub.com.au, 2016). Figure 15 gives an example of
FMA.
30
Figure 15. Positive acknowledgment message example (Ccnhub.com.au, 2016)
FMA message contains FWB version information, in figure 14 it is 9 at line 5. Readers
can see airline prefix (081) and AWB number at line 6, routing from Sydney to LosAngeles (SYD to LAX) and amount of pieces (T1, total one) and weight of shipment
(K6, 6 kilos).
FNA message is an error message which notifies the sender that a problem has been
detected in the FWB or FHL message sent. The FWB or FHL message is not
forwarded to the Airline and/or GHA. Sender must know that his message has not been
sent. In most cases, the FNA can be corrected and the FWB, FHL message resubmitted (Ccnhub.com.au, 2016). Figure 16 gives an example of FNA.
Figure 16. Rejection message example (Ccnhub.com.au, 2016)
FNA message has list of codes, which indicate the transmitting problem. When freight
forwarder receives such a message, he must identify the problem and re-submit
FHL/FWB message. If the problem is unknown, then forwarder ought to call to the
airline or GSA in the region for clarification. This situation the author saw quite often
during the internship.
4.3.1
The export process from handling point of view
At this part of the thesis reader will be familiarized with what is going on at the cargo
terminal between two C2K milestones, RCS and DEP, and how export shipment
31
process goes in details, from handling point of view. There are not many literature
sources about it. Terminal is a black box for most parties involved in airfreight.
Shipment goes inside the terminal, disappears and then appears from another terminal
on the other side of the planet.
In Figure 17 the sequences of the event which LH-team must perform in order to
optimize and manifest flight are presented. LCAG’s flowchart “information flow versus
material flow” is describing sequence of events at the terminal.
Figure 17. Information flow versus material flow at the terminal (Lufthansa cargo, 2015)
Figure 17 presents in a very clear way what happens at the acceptance, and
summarizes all earlier mentioned information about RCS. RCS has to be done shortly
before LAT. Research in this thesis will be focused on the big yellow arrow between
LAT and DEP in the figure 17.The focus is on the single flight instead of single
shipment.
4.3.2
Flight preparation
LH-team starts to work on the flight several days before the actual flight’s departure.
Usually they monitor next three days’ flights and keep in mind current load factor for
each flight. Shipment booked for the flight drops to the queue and LH-team confirms
this shipment or rejects it based on capacity available before cargo is assigned to the
32
flight. There are three flight’s types out of Helsinki passenger flights, RFS, all-cargo
aircraft (freighter). There are certain things to be considered before confirmation of the
shipment. For RFS flight, LH-Team needs to check that the capacity is available in the
truck’s trailer, and to make sure that IATA’s dangerous goods segregation rules are
obeyed. Since all trucks take ferry to cross Baltic Sea, documentation and labelling of
goods must comply with international maritime dangerous goods (IMDG) rules as well.
In general, the labelling requirements of IATA are more stringent than ADR, IMDG or
RID (Whim and Johnson, 1996). For freighter aircraft, or to be more correct, for
position(s) in the freighter aircraft, LH team must check capacity available and mostly
IATA’s segregation rules. Often many shipments loaded to the freighter are dangerous
goods and cargo aircraft only goods (CAO) and therefore they all are mixed on the
same flight. Some substances cannot fly together at all, but some of them must be only
proper positioned on a certain distance or in different ULDs.
Passenger’s flights are the most complicated ones because they are dedicated to the
passengers at first and only then for cargo in the belly. This means that passengers
and their baggage have the first priority to be on board. The second priority has cargo.
The third priority is left for air mail. Since passenger flight planning is the most
complicated process, it will be described in more details in following paragraphs.
There are three types of passengers’ aircrafts that fly for Lufthansa passage out of
Helsinki: airbus A319, A320, A321. Aircraft’s types to be flown in and out of Helsinki
are planned in the schedule, but could be easily replaced on demand. It means that, if
more tickets were sold for the flight than scheduled aircraft’s capacity is, then aircraft’s
type could be easily changed from A319 to A320 and up to A321. In simple words, the
bigger number of the aircraft model, is the longer fuselage and more capacity on board
it has. Detailed specifications of the aircrafts such as length, range and main deck
layout might be found at airbus website (Airbus.com, 2016).
What is more important for this thesis is the cargo capacity on these aircrafts. We need
to take into consideration that cargo capacity depends on routing, weather conditions,
number of passengers, baggage, mail, catering material, etc. There is an average
estimate, which will be adjusted by LH-Team based on personal anticipation of loadfactor. A319 aircraft is designed for Lufthansa as loose cargo only, meaning that there
is no possibility to load ULDs inside. There are “front hold”, “aft hold” and “compartment
5” with total estimated capacity between 1640-2000 kg for cargo on average. This type
33
of aircraft has also advantage of loading bigger pieces into it, due to bigger cargo
compartment doors and lack of ULD limits in comparison to A320, A321. A320 aircraft
has 3 cargo positions in front compartment, 4 positions in aft compartment plus
relatively small compartment 5 for loose cargo only. Estimated cargo capacity for A320
is 590-1750kg on average. A321 has 5 positions in front hold and 5 positions in aft hold
and compartment 5 for loose cargo only. Estimated capacity for A321 is 2830 kg.
Average cargo capacity is LCAG’s statistical assumption. Its meaning is how many
capacities will be left for cargo if there will be average passenger load, which is
approximately 74% (Lufthansagroup.com, 2016).
LH-team during the capacity defining process for the flight will take into consideration
aircraft model scheduled and check amount of passengers booked and estimated
(experience based computer forecast). Usually one passenger means one bag which is
on average 18 kilos (with max allowed 23 per piece). One ULD position can fit
approximately 30 bags. It means that for A320 (Max 150 passengers +12 crew
members) which has 110 passengers booked it can be expecte 3.6 ULD loaded with
baggage. At this point LH-Team must round up number to bigger or smaller amount,
exclusively based on the experience. Let us assume that it is Monday evening and we
expect more business travellers to be on board without baggage, then we estimate
three ULD to be used for baggage and four positions left for cargo plus bulk load in
compartment 5. After that planning process, which takes less than a minute, shipment
is accepted or declined for a requested flight in the booking.
Next step in the flight preparation starts approximately 5 hours before departure, when
LH-team member puts into the Weight and Balance system the first “estimates” figures.
This means what is booked for the flight. These figures could be changed completely
later on, at the moment of entering “finals” for the flight. Responsible person enters only
amount of Cargo and mail in kilos planned on the flight for the “estimates” entry,
without ULD distribution.
Aircraft is exposed to forces in three dimensions and must be well balanced, neither
nose nor tail heavy. Otherwise it will lead to manoeuvring difficulties and safety issues.
It is a complicated procedure at the first glance, but with modern tools it is not that
sophisticated. For example there is an application in iTunes for doing such calculations
“Aviation W&B Calculator but it is used mostly for small private aircrafts (Kronenfeld,
2016). Idea will be the same for big passenger aircrafts, but a bit more complicated.
There is very good North –Central-Texas aviation careers web site about W&B with
34
exercises and detailed explanation (Nctaviationcareers.com, 2016). Relevant for the
thesis is that W&B job is not a part of LH-team daily routine. They must input correct
figures at later stage of preparation and Lufthansa’s remote W&B units situated
worldwide will provide correct loading plan.
Shortly after LAT LH-team checks booking list and matches it to the RCS goods.
Goods, which are not delivered by LAT are No-show. No-show happens very often,
especially because there is no culture of No-show fee in the industry. When it is clear
what is supposed to be on the flight and what physically is in the terminal, LH-team
prints- out the build-up list, where amount of AWBs with all special handling codes
weight, pieces, and dimensions are mentioned. Additionally LH-Team member adds
amount and type of ULDs to be used for cargo.
Warehouse flight’s preparation work begins with receiving of build-up lists from the
office and it can be divided into three parts, as in the “warehouse activities” flow chart
presented in the Figure 18.
Figure 18. Warehouse activities flow (Lufthansa cargo, 2014)
After getting build-up list from LH-team (ex SONG-team) the preparation phase begins.
Warehouse employees check ULD, load and lashing materials available for a flight and
make them ready for build-up. At the perform phase actual physical build-up takes
place. Freight is exposed to fast acceleration and sometimes emergency brakes during
35
transportation. In the air, it can be exposed up to 3G forces in up and down directions,
and 1,5G in back and forward directions (in comparison to 1G in road transportation).
Therefore inside the ULD or on the ULD, freight is tightened with straps and nets and if
necessary also wrapped in plastic foil for protecting against rain and snow. ULD is
scaled when it is ready. This information (ULD number and gross weight) is then added
on the ULD tag, which is placed on the ULD and same information is passed to the
responsible flight agent (LH-Team). In real life it means that warehouse worker returns
same build-up list to the LH-Team with additional information: which shipment was
loaded to which ULD, what is ULD’s gross weight and how many ULDs were used.
Last step for warehouse is to put loaded ULDs outside of terminal in the designated
airfield area for the ramp to pick them up. In simple words leave ready ULDS at the
backyard.
Sometimes not all planned items fit to the planned ULDs available for cargo on the
particular passenger flight. This information is also marked on the build-up list. When
LH-team receives ready build-up list, they enter “finals” data to the Weight and balance
system. Lufthansa provides own system for entering W&B data, which is important and
will be explained why in this chapter later. System provides a response, a load plan,
which will tell ramp which ULD goes to which position in the aircraft. Load plan will be
sent directly to the ramp, bypassing LH-Team. LH-team’s job is to fit all what they have
to the ULD and bulk capacities available for maximizing company’s profit.
Task of Lufthansa’s weight and balance unit (load control) is to fit all ULDs to the
aircraft on right positions. Right balanced aircraft is safe, and also consumes less fuel.
At the same time with W&B entries, LH-team adds informational to the Swissport
handling system Cargospot. It creates a check-point MAN, which means that goods are
manifested for the flight. If W&B unit decides later on to exclude something from
loading instruction, then LH-team will exclude same shipment from the manifest before
flight finalization and from next system’s transaction FFM with discrepancy code OFLD
(Off-load). The OFLD message is information for next station, which tells that goods did
not depart from origin. FFM is the final transaction in the export informational flow and
will be presented later in this chapter
One more important and safety relevant document for flight planning is NOTOC. It
refers to Special Load Notification to Captain. The NOTOC is divided into 2 parts:
Dangerous Goods and Other Special Load (Valuable, live animals, etc.).
36
Special Load Notification must be given to the Captains of all aircrafts carrying
Dangerous Goods. This document has to provide all relevant information about each
Dangerous Goods shipment on particular flight (AWB, quantity, nature of goods, ULD
position in the belly or on the main deck, etc). It is entirely up to the pilot in command
whether he accepts Dangerous Goods on-board (Dangerousgoodstraining.blogspot.de,
2016). Lufthansa Cargo uses NOTOC only for notifying captain about dangerous goods
on board. For other special loads, LCAG has different tools.
When all preparations are done and cargo is ready to be picked-up at the warehouse
yard, cargo still might not make its own way to the aircraft belly for various reasons. For
example due to the neglect of RAMP, very seldom Cargo is simply forgotten at the
yard. Common reason is that factually more passengers with bags arrived than
planned; Therefore more ULDs for baggage were used, and fewer positions left for
cargo and mail. Sometimes at the last moment it can be discovered that ULDs or
compartments are not airworthy. Another case is that due to the weather conditions
captain might decide to take more fuel, which affects the mass of the aircraft, balance
and load capacity, and therefore some changes in loading might be necessary.
What is important for the thesis from handling point of view is that, If cargo leaves the
terminal, then it is included in the FFM and LH-team expects that cargo will be on the
flight. If for any reason cargo returns to the terminal, then handling agent makes a
discrepancy entry short-shipped in the system (SSPD) which must be balanced by
import station with entry missing cargo (MSCA), because shipment was included in the
manifest but factually did not arrive to the next airport.
Confirmation messages which clarify, what finally gets on board and to what position
are CPM and LDM messages. LDM is load distribution message, presented in Figure
19 and it states general flight figures.
37
Figure 19. LDM message and explanation (Lufthansa Cargo, 2015)
This example message in figure 18 shows the weight distribution among the belly for
the airbus A321 aircraft. Aircraft enthusiasts could easily find more details about the
aircraft by tail number D-AISI. LDM will be the only message for departed aircraft if it
carries only loose cargo (in compartment 5), or if it is “loose cargo only” aircraft type.
LCAG’s aircrafts with loose load only are: Airbus A319, Embraer 195/190 and Boeing
737-300/500.
CPM message is sent if ULD positions are used for cargo or mail in the aircraft. In
Figure 20 there is a scheme of the same D-AISI A321 aircraft with detailed ULD
distribution and CPM message and information description is presented.
Figure 20. CPM message example (Lufthansa cargo, 2015)
38
From the CPM message in Figure 18 it is possible to read for example that 505 kilos
(incl. ULD weight approx. 85 kilos) of mail loaded in the AKH to the position 11, 745
(incl. ULD) kilos of cargo are loaded in the AKH ULD type to the position 31.
Additionally there is information about baggage and cargo, loaded as bulk to the
compartment 5 (entry starts with 52). CPM gives a clear picture that ULDs went on
board and in case something would be missing, CPM’s information is vital for
investigation and operational recovery. Those messages act as a proof of what was
exactly loaded on board. CPM and LDM come to the Swissport system from the ramp
right after actual departure of the aircraft.
Aircraft departure happens in three phases; Off-blocks, taxiing, and a Take-off. Offblock literally means that wheel blocking triangles are removed and aircraft is free to
go. This is the moment when responsibility for cargo is passed to the captain of the
aircraft. Next phase is taxiing. Since jet aircrafts have no rear gear, they need to get a
push-back by special equipment. When push-back is done, aircraft will taxi itself to the
runway. De-icing or anti-icing procedures could be performed during taxiing time. Last
phase of the physical aircraft departure is taking-off, simply when aircraft becomes
airborne. This explains why a MVT message looks as it is at Figure 21.
Figure 21. Movement message example (Lufthansa Cargo, 2015)
Message could be decoded as follows. The first line points to the recipient (SITA
address). SITA is a message interchanging system. It is originally joint venture of 11 air
companies and was developed in the 80s. Its addresses and standards now are
backbone of information transmitting in air freight (Sita.aero, 2016). Second line
contains sender address, date and time in UTC format. It is followed by the month and
the year when entry was done in the system. The third line identifies the type of the
message - movement (MVT). Line 4 contains information about the Airline (LH), flight
number, aircraft tail register number and airport of origin Helsinki (HEL). Fifth line
contains information about MVT process, described above and could be read as
follows: actual departure (AD) on day 14 at 0505(UTC) off-blocks/ day 14 at 0525(UTC)
39
take-off, Estimated arrival (EA) 0746 (UTC) in Frankfurt. Last line shows the amount of
passengers on board. For the passenger aircraft it is not LH-team’s job to create a
movement, it comes from the ramp, but for the freighter and RFS flight, LH-team does
MVT transactions into the LCAG’s system.
Exact decoding of the abbreviation FFM accordingly to the CIMP is Airline flight
manifest message. FFM is the last transaction done by GHA in outbound process at
the export station. Combination of actual departure movement and FFM, sent on time
will generate C2K milestone DEP. An example of FFM is shown in Figure 22, and it is
the pre-alert to next station, and provides details of consignments loaded to the
particular flight (Iata.org, 2015).
Figure 22. FFM message example (Lufthansa Cargo, 2014)
In the example of FFM message, key elements are highlighted with different colours for
easy reading. The first line identifies recipient of the message, SITA address. The
second line contains sender address, Lufthansa’s prefix (LH), date and time in UTC
format and when the message was sent. The third line contains message version
specification. the fourth line has LH prefix, identifying that it is the Lufthansa flight and
flight number, date and local time of event, airport of origin, aircraft tail number. Airport
of the destination is on the fifth line. Line six tells us which ULD is loaded/ Type of ULD
(AKH), ULD number (5 letters) and LH identification, meaning the owner of ULD. Line 7
contains AWB number, routing information Helsinki to Miami, T3 stays for total amount
of pieces (one of them is more than 150 kg therefore special handling code HEA is
used afterwards), K308 is amount of kilos, MC 0.93 means that net volume of the
shipment is 0.93 cubic meters. Rest of the lines of the message tell special handling
information, customs’ movement reference number, and the method of security
screening x-ray.
40
It is also appropriate to explain UCM message. UCM message is a ULD Control
Message. It tells which ULD was loaded on which flight and when it left a certain
airport. It helps to monitor ULD movements. Those messages are crucial for ULD stock
steering. For example based on those messages Jettainer or CHEP (another ULD
steering company) knows which ULD is where. Also based on those messages they
know the duration of ULD lease, therefore those messages support accounting. In
Helsinki GHA is responsible for sending those messages on time and in right format.
Example of UCM message is presented in Figure 23.
Figure 23. UCM message example (Lufthansa Cargo, 2015, modified)
The first three lines are familiar to the reader already. It tells about recipient, sender’s
address, day, time and the month of the year when it was send. UCM identifies type of
the message in the line three. Line four points to the Lufthansa’s flight, day, and airport
of departure Helsinki (HEL). The fifth line identifies type of the movement - OUT. Line
six points to ULD, its specification and number “AKH39410LH” is OUT (line 5) of
Helsinki.
Figure 24 will help the reader to wrap up all above-mentioned transactions and match
them against C2K monitoring milestones on the time line.
Figure 24. C2K milestone against system transactions (Lufthansa Cargo, 2015)
41
As we can see from the figure 24, there are many transactional steps behind C2K
milestones. There are even more processes behind system transactions. The author of
the thesis hopes that GHA’s activities presented in this chapter will change the
perception of the cargo terminal from a “black box” to complex but understandable
mechanism.
5
Improvement of documentation flow and quality in air freight
5.1
Action based research
The action based research was performed accordingly to the methodology, described
in chapter 1.2. Research steps are presented in Figure 25
Gathering Info
(August-September
2015)
Preliminary Analysis
(October 2015)
Evaluation of action
(November 2015 March 2016)
Analysis of
Solutions
Chosing the best
solution
(October 2015)
(October 2015)
Implementation
Plan for
implementation
(November 2015)
(October 2015)
Figure 25. Action-based-research plan
Understanding the context and gathering information for this project meant an
understanding of airfreight basics and outbound procedures, which are described in
chapters 2 to chapter 4, plus studying legal requirements in the internal documents
such as Cargo handling manual (CHM) and Ground Handling Procedures (GHP). CHM
and GHP are internal confidential documents which explicitly describe each step of air
cargo processes, from carrier’s point of view. LCAG as the German carrier must
42
comply with EU laws, German laws (on which CHM and GHP are based) and comply
with local laws, if they are more strict than German laws. It was vital to understand
operational processes and how they are interconnected between each other because
only deep understanding could help to identify processes “bottlenecks”.
As it was mentioned earlier, trip-file is a set of documents, which exists for every
outbound flight with cargo on board. Most of the processes, documents or transactions
were presented in previous chapters. For the need of the project, trip-file’s content was
segregated in Table 1 on the following basis; mandatory as hard copy (HC) by law and
process wise mandatory, but made in the system as transaction (E). Before more
details to each document are given, it has to be taken into consideration that all
documents at the starting point of the project were printed out and that was the way for
transmitting and storing data before the process change.
5.1.1
Current trip-file content and processes.
Trip-file’s content is combined from three different modules; 1) “General” 2) “Flight type
(PAX, RFS or Freighter)” 3)”Product specials” (if applicable). Trip-file’s structure is
presented in Figure 26.
Module 1.
"General"
Tripfile
(complete set of
documents and
transactions)
Module 2.
"Flight type"
Module 3.
"Product specials"
Figure 26. Trip-file’s structure
The first “General” module, is a basic “must have” for every flight regardless the type of
the flight. Second module is flight type relevant: passenger flight, Freighter flight or
43
RFS. It means that based on the flight type out of Helsinki you need to pick one of the
flight’s specific module. The last module is optional, product-specific relevant. If there is
a specific product on board, then product related documents must be in trip-file. Most of
documents and electronic transactions from module 1 and 2 were discussed earlier in
details. Documents and transactions from module 3 will be presented later in this
chapter and topic about customs documents will be discussed in separate chapter,
because it is comprehensive. Documents’ distribution by modules and documents’
purposes are presented in Table 1.
Module
Number
Group
Source
Table 1. Trip-file’s breakdown
Document name
Purpose
Check-list is designed as a tool, which
helps employees not to forget a single
step in export flight preparation.
Trip-file check-list
HC
document is signed by responsible
person, this signature certifies that all
necessary export processes were done
correct and on time
1
General
Main contract of carriage could be paper
HC/
AWBs
E
based or electronic. Every trip-file must
contain all AWB copies attached, and be
mentioned in the cargo manifest
Build-up list
HC
FFM
E
Paper based document, was discussed
previously
Airline flight manifest message, was
discussed previously
Document which states pallet weight
Pallet weight statement(LH
format)
with goods and loading material (nets,
HC
straps) on the top. LH format document
has less information, than the same
document, made in Cargospot
3
Product specific
Safe/td pre-advise
VAL
acceptance
E
check
sheet
Live/td pre-advise
AVI
sheet
acceptance
HC
E
check
HC
Electronic message, will be discussed
later
paper based document, will be
discussed later
Electronic message, will be discussed
later
paper based document, will be
discussed later
44
DGR pre-advise for class
1.4S goods and radioactive
DGR
acceptance
check
sheet
E
HC
Electronic message, will be discussed
later
paper based document, will be
discussed later
LCAG does not have regular scheduled
all-cargo aircraft operations out of
Helsinki. For its own need, LCAG has
certain capacity bought from external
supplier’s freighter, which departs from
Helsinki every evening five times per
week on workdays. Capacity provider’s
system and LCAG systems are not in
harmony, further more provider’s logic
LDM and MVT ex DHL
E
does not match IATA’s logics fully and
therefore some mismatches occur.
Swissport needs to interpret MVT
messages from capacity provider and
2
Freighter specials
type it in right format into LH system
(DASGO). LCAG needed original MVT
message to be sure that Swissport did
their job correctly and LDM acted as a
proof that cargo was physically loaded
into the aircraft.
DASGO (LH-system) print-out in trip-files
MVT ex Dasgo, printout
E
was needed as a proof that MVT was
done in LH system
Swissport scales a pallet ready for
carriage and send this information to the
freighter capacity provider. This
Pallet
weight
statement
(Cargospot version)
E
document has pallet identification, goods
weight per AWB, tare weight, and actual
pallet total weight (including load
materials). This measuring data is vital
for aircraft weight and balance
NOTOC
(done
in
Cargospot )
E
UCM
E
LDM, CPM messages
E
NOTOC is Special Load Notification to
Captain
Unit control message. It was discussed
previously
Specials
2
Passenger
Load distribution message and cargo
position message. They were discussed
previously
WAB printout (LH system)
NOTOC
system)
(done
in
LH
E
E
W&B data input, used for process
control
NOTOC is Special Load Notification to
Captain
45
The form is used to inform the truck
driver about the loaded shipments and
RFS cover sheet
HC
provides customs information about the
shipments. Truck cover sheet is
mandatory by law as a hard-copy
document
Unit control message, serves to control
2
RFS specials
ULD physical movements worldwide.
Empty capacities on trucks are used
often for returning damaged ULD and
UCM
E
surplus ULDs, nets, straps to the Hub
station. Empty surplus or damaged
ULDs movements will be recorded only
in UCM message, nowhere else. That is
why for the trucks those messages are
extremely important
DASGO (LH-system) print-out in trip-files
MVT ex Dasgo, printout
E
was needed as a proof that MVT was
done in LH system
Customs documents
HC/
Will be discussed in a separate chapter
E
in this thesis later
Module 3. Product specific documents / transactions
Pre-advises
Pre –advise as such is an electronic message to next station, notifying that special
freight is coming. Special products are usually fast delivery terms shipments or
products which require special care and goods flow control.
Pre-advise for Safe/td
Safe/td is the LCAG product for high valuable shipments: diamond, banknotes, live
human organs or pieces of art (Lufthansa-cargo.com, 2016)
Pre-advise for Live/td
Live/td is the LCAG product for transporting live species: big zoo animals, race horses,
domestic pets, fishes and spiders (Lufthansa-cargo.com, 2016).
Pre-advise for Care/td (DGR)
Care/td is the LCAG product for carrying dangerous goods such as: flammable raw
materials or oxygen tanks (Lufthansa-cargo.com, 2016). “Dangerous goods’ are
materials or items with hazardous properties which, if not properly controlled present a
46
potential hazard to human health and safety, infrastructure and/or their means of
transport. Accordingly to ICAO dangerous goods are divided to 9 classes”
(Uk.dsv.com, 2016). Currently pre-advises are needed for a division 1.4S – minimal
hazards explosives, because items belonged to this class(1.4S) are usually cartridges
and weapon ammunition – subject for control and monitoring under German SprengG
(Sprengstoffgesetz) law. One more must pre-advise is for class 7 radioactive goods.
Class 7 notification is an extra caution measure. Danger from radioactive goods will not
be visible visually to rescue team in case of accident, for example.
Product specific check-sheet
Mandatory hard copy document, which states condition and detailed description of
freight accepted. Check sheet is list of simple unambiguous questions. By answering
for each question, specially trained end educated employee ticks one of three
“YES/Not applicable/ NO” boxes. Answering to all questions will give comprehensive
picture about freight conditions. If answer to one of the question is “NO” then goods will
be rejected for carriage. Employee puts own signature and initials in the end of the
sheet. Example of check-list (not LCAG’s one) can be find in the appendix 1.
5.1.2
Customs documents
This part of trip-file is discussed in separate chapter of the thesis, because it is
relatively big and complex. Based on truck cover sheet or AWB it is possible to identify
goods status. There are three possible customs statuses for goods (ec.europa.eu,
2016):
C - EU-goods not leaving the EU (internal trade, example Helsinki - Barcelona)
X – EU-goods leaving the EU - export goods (example Helsinki – Frankfurt - Chicago)
T1 (+TD, TF) – Goods from third countries into the EU (under Customs control, must
be customs cleared later or leave the EU, example St.Petersurg (Russia) - Helsinki –
Frankfurt - Atlanta). It used to be a very important document of trip-file, because no
shipment should leave without proper documentation. Nowadays, when everything
become electronically, it is not likely that shipment will depart without proper
documentation.
T1 customs status shipments
If in the trip-file there is a transit status shipment (T1), then in documents there is
usually (but not necessarily) a customs document, transit declaration (T1), which
47
covers part of the route from shipper’s warehouse to the Swissport terminal. T1
contains customs MRN number (movement reference number). “The MRN is a unique
number that is automatically allocated by the customs office that receives/validates and
accepts the electronic customs declaration or EXS (ec.europa.eu, 2010). Swissport
requests from the customs new transit declaration (T1) for the next segment of the
route, based on previous MRN. The transit declaration (T1), which covers LCAG’s
segments, is relevant for trip-file checking.
X status shipments
According to European commission’s Article 161(5) CC “the export declaration must be
lodged either at the customs office responsible for supervising the place where the
exporter is established or where the goods are packed or loaded for export shipment"
When agents hand over the goods to the carrier, they must be ready for carriage and
accompanied with proper documents. For “X” status shipment one of the document is
an export declaration. If we take the same routing example as above HelsinkiFrankfurt-Chicago, then customs in Helsinki will be customs office of export. Customs
office of export performs numerous activities, some of which according to the
guidelines are;
” the verification of the declaration, supporting documents, and the examination of the
goods, taking measures allowing the identification of the goods, controls on whether
the goods are subject to prohibitions or restrictions, the release of goods for moving to
the customs office of exit, the confirmation of exit to the exporter/declarant, the issuing
of the MRN to the declarant, forwarding the "Anticipated Export Record" message to
the customs office of exit” (ec.europa.eu, 2010).
Frankfurt will be the last station before goods leave the EU; Therefore Frankfurt in
these terms is customs office of exit. The customs office of exit checks, on the basis of
a risk analysis, whether goods are missing, are in excess, and/or do not correspond to
those declared or have been substituted (Ec.europa.eu, 2010). Basically customs office
of exit matches goods with document made by customs office of export and gives a
green light for export of goods.
“X” status goods export cases by air are described in details in document “export
scenarios” (scenario 17) by European commission. (ec.europa.eu, 2010)
C customs status shipments
C status goods are intra-EU shipments and customs is not concerned, no customs
documents are needed.
48
Even though origin of customs requests and documents electronically, process flow is
designed so that first those documents appear at Swissport terminal as hard-copy.
5.2
Observations. Project progress and outcome
Work observation, trip-file’s analysis and employees’ questioning showed a bottleneck
of a current set-up. Mandatory hard-copy based documents must be filed as they are,
but electronically available transactions are printed out without a reason. It takes
valuable time of Swissport employees and resources such as time, electricity, paper
and toner. Changing the way of transmitting data would solve this issue. Next step of
the process was brainstorming and creating first solution and alternatives, which could
improve transition of information as well information’s quality. For this task “concept
mapping” method was used by the author of this thesis. This project’s artefact was
done in October 2015 can be found in the Appendix 2.
After studying legal ground by the author of the thesis It became clear that hard copy
mandatory documents cannot be avoided or amount decreased. At the same time, way
of transmitting e-transactions had to be changed. The next question to be answered
was “how to make it?”. First idea was to follow modern trend and implement document
circulating which is fully electronical. For that reason some additional software is
usually required. There are all types of software designed for this purpose and the most
of the share is based on Microsoft SharePoint 2013. It was impossible to convince two
independent global companies to invest locally for joint interchange of documents.
Because of that another solution was formed as follows.
Solution 1. “All into PDF”
All hard copy documents must be stored as they are but at the same time scanned to
PDF. All electronically available transactions must be saved in PDF and concatenated
with first PDF. Final document must have certain name for easy identifying the
outbound flight and sequence of documents inside. Documents will be stored at
Swissport server and transferred to the LH server via encrypted memory stick. Program
suggested for encrypting was open source “TrueCrypt” (Economist.com, 2014).For
LCAG it would be a simple solution in terms of easy access to the files, which are
sometimes urgently needed (e g for certain MRN number).
49
Disadvantages of this solution are that it does not lead to the document quality
improvement but improves only the way of transmitting information. For Swissport it will
bring almost no advantages, because filing mistakes (print-outs forgotten) will be still
possible. However, easy searching will be possible later. One of the most important
things is that no extra time would be released for LH-team. Also feedback from SWP
employees was that they would rather print than scan because it is faster. This all led
to designing other alternative solutions.
Solution 2. “PDF + Hard copy”
What is necessary stays as a hard copy. All necessary transactions instead of printing
are stored in PDF. For LCAG this solution has same effect as the first one. For
Swissport effect is also considered to be the same. For employees this option could be
better than printing-out but time test is relevant to be performed in order to justify
process change time wise for example in seconds. This option still does not improve
quality of documentation.
Solution 3. “Hard copy + limited Cargospot access”
Hard copy documents stay as they are. For access to electronic transaction, SWP
grants to LCAG restricted access to their IT system Cargospot. Restrictions are
following: it is possible to see only export transactions (no import) and browse only
through LCAG’s AWB and LH flights. At the same time was agreed to exclude LCAG’s
document pallet weight statement (PWS) with Swissport’s one, because it has more
data in it. It was suggested also to stop printing WAB and NOTOC for LH passenger
flights because they are done in LH systems and in extreme case it is possible to recall
them.
Previously printed-out MVT messages from LH systems were suggested not to be
printed at all and let the intern to control them. This led to document quality
improvement as follows: 1) focusing on the quality (timeliness) of movement message
(MVT) instead of focusing on simply existence of it 2) Helps to avoid archiving mistakes
(print-out forgotten). FFM, CPM, LDM and UCM messages became available for check
in Cargospot this led to absence of archiving mistakes as well. Outcome for LCAG was
easy access for documentation, from two sources. Benefit for intern is to get to know
one more cargo handling system. For Swissport there is a financial benefit since no
penalties for archiving mistakes are possible. It is possible because transactions are
not printed and filed any more, but existence in systems is checked. Very seldom
happens that transaction was not made, and then it is instead a genuine process
50
mistake and subject for penalty. Most positive outcome from this solution is for LHTeam. They do not need to do double work and get more free time for more important
things, which will lead to the customer service improvement.
The project’s solutions were evaluated with the decision mantra equation, voiced by
Mr. William Simcoe in the “Contextual decision making course” ED=QD*0.2+AD*0.8
(Simcoe, 2016). Effectiveness of decision equals quality of decision multiplied to 0.2
(20%) plus acceptance of decision multiplied to 0.8 (80%). This means that in order to
implement new process successfully a proactive employees’ questioning was
completed. LH-team (4 persons) gave their feedback on how it could be implemented
in daily routine. Three main requirements must match decision outcome. Primarily
solution should comply with Lufthansa internal legal documents and external authority’s
regulations. Secondly LCAG and SCS demands for new process must be fulfilled.
Thirdly decision mantra equation must be considered, and employees’ demands
fulfilled.
Information, facts and comments from operational side were gathered before
introduction of three concepts to the management. It was clear that at that current
moment a chance for implementing had solution number three only and the author of
the thesis had to admit the best one out of all three. Presentation took place in the end
of October/beginning of November 2015. SWP’s employees voted for third option and
SWP’s and LCAG’s management were favourable to this option as well. Three phases
of implementation of this solution were designed immediately at the meeting:
Phase 1: To grant LCAG access to Cargospot and stop creating print-outs.
Phase 2: To update trip-file checklist and make it more coherent with SWP’s workflow.
Phase 3: In the future, replace hard copy documents with electronic documentation
flow system and check-sheets with tablet computers.
Phase one was implemented immediately in the beginning of November 2015 and was
proven to be successful from the first day.
At the moment of finishing this thesis phase two was still in progress, and phase 3 is
expected to be performed not earlier than at the year 2017.
51
6
Result and data analysis
For data analysing was used a knowledge gained during internship. It is important to
distinguish process failure from archiving failure (famous print-outs that were not
attached to trip-file). Figure 27 shows amount of total trip-file checks made and failures
discovered during year 2015.
Trip-file checks 2015
130
120
110
100
90
80
70
Trip-files checked
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
tripfiles with failures
correct tripfiles
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
AVG
7
1
5
6
4
1
1
14
9
4
3
7
5
102
109
96
110
93
121
73
111
118
114
121
115
107
Figure 27. Trip-files check data during year 2015 (Lufthansa cargo, 2015)
Research of old process was performed for a period from March 2015 till October 2015
included. There were made 44 mistakes in trip-files, during that period. Among them 26
mistakes were filing mistakes (FFM or MVT not attached, etc.) and 18 process
mistakes. It means that 59% of mistakes, which happened from March 2015 till October
2015, could be avoided simply by using new process set-up. Numbers are displayed in
Figure 28.
52
18
41 %
Filing mistake
26
59 %
Process mistake
Figure 28. Trip-file’s March to October 2015 mistakes’ nature
The idea of avoiding possible mistakes was confirmed to be genuine by LCAG handling
and quality manager, Swissport managers and LH-team staff. Every mistake affects
SLA’s monthly Bonus-Malus chart by certain amount, which is confident. We can only
identify significance of this process development, by saying that some thousands of
euros could be saved for Swissport.
After the project implementation data did not look splendid from the beginning. It was
so because focus was changed from the existence of the data to the quality of the data.
Through this project implementation LCAG identified unknown weak spots, and
unpleasant knowledge loopholes in the process understanding, which were fixed in
November and December 2015. At the end this “fixing” improved quality of the
understanding the processes and data quality itself. November 2015 and December
2015 average amount of mistakes was 5, which was matching 2015 year’s average.
One more thing which affected data in November December was due to the specificity
of SLA agreement, since mistakes found in the process understanding were possible to
record only through trip-files check. It means that if specific process failure was
discovered then it was possible to make as a “subject for penalty” only through trip-file
check failure.
During January, February and March 2016 same pattern for mistakes’ amount was
discovered. Amount of mistakes in January – 3, February – 2, March - 2. Only one
process mistake was spotted during trip-files checks. Not a single archiving mistake
was spotted in the trip-files itself since November 2015, when the project’s solutions
were implemented. However, data capture mistakes and acceptance mistakes were
recorded into Bonus-Malus file through trip-files checks. This observation shows that
there is no need in trip-files check with new processes in place, or amount of checks
53
could be decreased from over 100 trip-files to 30-50 checks. Simultaneously process
non-compliances have to have certain fixed penalty amount in Bonus-Malus.
Current situation with SLA’s logics completely ruins credibility of general figures of tripfile checks. At the same time it is signalling that current Bonus-Malus process in place
is not up-to date and there is a need to re-design it. Both companies’ management
have noticed the same issue, and negotiations about new evaluation system will take
place together with new SGHA contract in the near future.
Survey’s answers show that LCAG’s management is satisfied with overall project
outcome (4/5). Documentation quality and data transmitting improvements were rated
high (approximately 76%), and therefore significant change was admitted. Project
preliminary processes were ranked rather efficient, encouraging and joyful then
distressing and downwards. Project outcomes implementations were ranked rather
fast, easy and welcoming then slow bureaucratic and antagonistic. Among suggested
improvements “most wanted” option was: e-documentation circulation system.
During the interview, of LCAG manager he confessed, that theresults of the project are
significant but ranked in the answers somewhere at the level 70-80% only, due to the
personal scaling level. Exact quote is: “You will never get from me 100%, 80 percent is
already a good result”.
Swissport management is satisfied with the solution implemented and overall project
outcomes (4/5). Data transmitting improvement was rated at the level of 25%.
Document quality improvement was rated at 46%. This marking was clarified later in
the interview. Interesting that management expressed their feeling towards new routine
even though they did not usually prepare trip-files by themselves. Their attitude is along
with the employees; less time being spent, routine becomes better, and it is much more
difficult to make a mistake. Swissport’s management assess preliminary project’s
process almost neutral, but with small tendency to the positive statements. Process
outcomes of implementation are ranked as rather slow and bureaucratic. This was also
clarified in the interview later. Among improvements were strongly emphasised a need
for e-documentation flow system and tablet devices implementation for warehouse
employees. Driver’s room and 3D gate(automate weight and volume checking tool)
was ranked as least priority.
In the interview, after filling the questionnaire, one of Swissport’s managers clarified
few rankings. Project indeed had positive impact, but on data transmitting level, in
Swissport’s perception, is still not significant improvement between the two companies.
54
That is why rating is at 27% only. Document quality is ranked high at fair level (46%).
What reader needs to consider is that every marking is above the zero. When
difference before and after the project is more than 10%, then project is considered
successful, as In this case.
Project implementation was rated slow, because this trip-files’ issue had been “in the
air” between the two companies for several years. It was finally implemented, but
overall project implementation took too much time. In the future developments were
highlighted e-documentation flow and tablets for warehouse. Both solutions would
improve data transmitting and data quality internally at the GHA premises. Using
tablets would also give the opportunity for warehouse to use software help-tools which
are not currently available for them. 3D gate option was explained as least significant
option because initial investments are high, but nothing among currently available
products on the market has interface to the GHA’s IT systems. It other words, company
buys very expensive scales, which indeed do weight and volume measure checks
accurate and fast, but outcome is text data only in various formats. In order to use this
data company steel need a person to create an input in the system. Current operational
scope does not require this tool.
Swissport employees
Swissport employees are satisfied with overall project outcome on average (4,3 /5).
Documentation quality and data transmitting improvements were rated high (70%), but
on average lower, than LCAG management (76%). Therefore significant change was
also admitted. Process feedback shows that due to the new solution implemented,
employees started to spend less time for creating trip-files. Majority admits that their
working routine becomes better, and minority is undecided about this criterion. We can
state, that no negative effects on work routine was spotted. All operational employees
admit that with the new creation process it is much more difficult to make a mistake in
trip-file. Therefore it proves improvement of documentation quality. Swissport
employees have rather neutral opinion and do not express strong views towards the
process preliminary work, except one criterion. They all agree that project questioning
process was efficient. Regarding the process implementation employees also keep
neutrality, except that implementation was rather welcomed, then antagonistic. Among
possible GHA’s future facility and software improvement need there were not
recognized and given certain priority. All options were ticked as important but not at the
extreme values. One thing that was clearly disregarded as facility improvement is a
55
waiting room for RFS’s drivers. Interview with employees did not bring additional
informational related to the project. Same positive attitude towards project performed
was expressed but without specific additions.
7
7.1
Conclusions and recommendations
Conclusive remarks
At the beginning of the thesis four questions were formulated in order to understand
context of the action based research.
What is an export flight preparation process?
Clients of cargo terminals are airlines, freight forwarders and mail companies. Mail
companies are charged differently from freight forwarders and airlines. Mail companies
usually have all-in rate and different contract of carriage (delivery bill). Freight
forwarders are charged accordingly to the price list which is easyly available on-line
and also pay terminal fees per kilo plus any possible security checks and cargo
export/release fees. Air companies are bringing customers to the cargo terminal, and
therefore terminals have competition for airlines. Price level for airlines is confidential.
What types of agents does a cargo airline have?
There are two types of agents for airlines. GSA - general sales agent and GHA –
ground handling agent. Depending on the operation scope Airline might be presented
at the station with own sales office and ground handling. Second option is to have own
sales branch present, but ground handling activities outsourced (to GHA). Third option
is applicable if station is new or operational scope is small. Airline does outsource sales
to the GSA and ground handling to the GHA.
What is C2K industry’s standardization benchmarking tool and how does the
informational flow function?
56
C2K is industry benchmarking and process standardization tool. In order to identify
moment of the mistake, route map is breaking-down to the 7 milestones. C2K in
author’s opinion simplifies complexity of the Master operating plan and makes it more
understandable. There are many transactions behind the C2K milestone, and there are
much more processes behind transactions. Furthermore parties involved in the
transportation have different IT systems, and in order to understand each other parties
generate messages according to CIMP. Cargo communities HUBs are also helping to
foster information flow. All these complications allow to ship goods by air fast and safe.
What is main document, which regulates contractual relationship between airline and
ground handling agent? How does this document regulate the relationship
Standard ground handling agreement (SGHA) is the main contract between Airline and
GHA. It is designed by IATA for simplification and standardization of the agreement,
and services mentioned in the agreement. Current SGHA version is 2013 and it has
been renewed every 5 years.
What is an export flight preparation process?
Flight preparation and particularities were described in chapter 4.3.2. It is complex and
oriented on security and information flow acceleration. Passenger’s flight preparation
for cargo is most complex, and cargo capacity estimation in author’s opinion is more
like a gambling. Fortunately, for “handling and quality” internship applicants this thesis
will be useful source of data, and possible advantage among other applicants. For
freight forwarders, understanding the complexity of processes, will give a competitive
advantage in booking correct products or possibility of foreseeing obstacles in
transportation.
It can be concluded, that project which was performed and solution implemented is a
success. Project result was possible to reach due to the maximum use of GHA’s IT
system. Processes’ “bottle necks” were identified by analysing project’s context. Three
solutions for the problem were developed and one of them selected for implementing.
Three phases of the solution’s implementations were developed and thirst one
implemented during author’ internship. Both quantitative and qualitative measures are
supporting project outcomes. In quantitative measure significant decrease of mistakes
was achieved plus archiving mistakes were eliminated completely. In qualitative scale
57
measure all parties involved admit positive outcomes of the project. A new level of
economical sustainability was achieved by Swissport, and new level of documentation
quality was achieved by LCAG. Also new social sustainability level was reached by LHteam. New process knowledge was discovered after project implementation, negative
though. Weak spots and processes misunderstanding were spotted and eliminated,
which finally led to development of Swissport’s competence. Last but not least, author
of this thesis gained a new and unique inside knowledge, about air freight.
7.2
Recommendations
The project solution was not fully implemented. Only one phase out of three is currently
put in place. Second phase is expected to be launched soon. Phase three is scheduled
for 2017 and by author’s opinion is the most complicated and exciting. Phase three is
supposed to replace hard copy documents with electronic document flow system and
make it possible to use tablets by warehouse workers for acceptance checks and
product specific checks. Thea author highly recommends to continue this project and
not to stop on benefits, already gained.
As a result of this thesis a need for a new project was detected. The selecting of
documentation flow system is a phase three of current project, new project itself and a
new challenge for Swissport Company.
There are four steps, recommended by R. Johnston (2003) to follow, when you are
selecting new software. Steps are; establish a technology advisory committee,
prepare needs analysis, consider engaging an independent consultant, and talk
with your current vendor.
At the first step, when company realizes, that there is a need in additional functionality
to the existing program, an internal advisory committee must be established.
Committee must consist of the management and employees, who are facing difficulties
in day-to day routine because they know better what issue really is possible to optimize
workflow.
At the second step company should describe in details what issues are and how they
must be solved. At this stage it is wise to understand what type of document
management system is needed for business. There are three types of document
58
management systems. The first is imaging system – converts paper documents to
electronic files. The second is software only system – provides management of files in
electronic format. The third is combination – imaging and software system combined
(Brooks, 2016).
At the first glance it seems that for the needs of business operations Swissport needs
only imaging system. There are many documents arriving to the Swissport in hard
copy; air waybills, agent’s dangerous goods declarations, and veterinary certificate for
live animal transportation, etc. These hard-copy documents are stored in trip-file. If
something happens during goods transportation and a need arises in such
documentation for an operational recovery or track and trace actions, then Swissport
employees will pull them out of archive, scan and send to the recipient. Such things
happen quite often, and these facts foster the need for document management system.
On the other hand operational messages are done in the IT system Cargospot,
designed by CHAMP. They are stored there and might be forwarded to any interested
party if there is a need. Electronic files, word document and excel tables are not
common for Swissport’s routine; Therefore there is no need to get control on those.
Some distinctive features of document managing system are presented in Figure 29.
Figure 29. Document management system distinctive features (Brooks, 2016)
Company needs to understand that document managing system is more than online
cloud storage. It is the system with possibility to grant or restrict editing rights and track
file’s modifications.
59
The third step to consider is to engaging an independent consultant. This could be
business partners as LCAG, who can share their own ideas, visions and solutions for
current issues. What is vital for this step is, to find a software expert either within or
outside of the company. There must be clear understanding of what company is going
to buy. Several key points for research are described by Brooks (2014) in his article.
There are three key blocks of elements for document managing system to be reviewed
before implementation: Internal software specification, external software specifications
and hardware needed. These blocks and sub-elements are presented in Table 2.
Table 2. Document management system’s key elements (Brooks, 2016, adapted)
Internal software
external software
specification
specifications
Filing structure
How many companies do
use the system currently
Team collaboration with
Does it have future-proof
system
architecture?
Cloud based interface
Hardware specifications
Scanning solution
Does it integrate with other
Compliance with
regulations and authorities
company’s software?
Is it scalable?
Disaster recovery
Custom user configurations
First group of software elements are internal software specifications. For exploring
these key points responsible person must be advanced IT user or external IT-specialist
must be engaged in the process.
Firstly, it all starts with understanding of the software logic behind the interface, how it
is copying physical filling pattern. The second topic is: How the software allows team to
work synergistically, and how the access to the documents is implemented. Next
important feature is to discover whether cloud services are enabled or not in the
software. This is a contemporary trend and almost “must-have’ option for the software.
There have to be a secure and remote access to documents outside of the office. Next
element “compliance with regulations and authorities” is important if company wants to
go completely paperless. In such a case software must comply or be certified by
60
appropriate authorities for complete paper-less document flow. Disaster recovery
comes along with cloud services. There must me a back-up server somewhere outside
of the office in order to protect electronic data from floods and fires. Last element in
internal software specifications column is custom user configurations. It means that
system must be flexible, and take shape form and if necessary logics of company’s
business processes and flow, not the other way around.
Second column of table three provides us the evaluation criteria, which might be obtain
without digging into the program. First key point is how many companies do use the
system on the market. It gives the understanding of the maturity of the system. In
addition, it gives a possibility to collect feedback before implementation. It is wise to
look around the company’s industry, because of the specificity of ground handling
business and collect feedback if it is possible. Next important thing, which is possible to
get out of software specification, is whether it is cross-platform software. Does the
system have possibility to run on other operational systems? What about other mobile
devices and tablets? How it would be possible to implement it in the warehouse? It is
particularly important because there was a case with one LCAG’s software, which was
not possible to run on the tablet and therefore could not be used in the warehouse.
Software’s vital feature is how system will be able to discuss with main company
system Cargospot. Last element of the second column “is it scalable?” means that if
company grows, will the system grow with the company or company will be forced to
implement a third-party solution.
Worth to mention that document management system is not only about software. For
the needs of document management system Swissport would need a special
hardware. Regular scanner is a good for a single document’s digitalization. If Swissport
is going to become paper-less, then we talk about hundreds of documents per day.
Therefore this activity must be as automated as possible, not creating extra job by
itself. Furthermore, documents usually arrive not in the perfect shape and form.
Therefore, investment in special scanner device such as ScanSnap iX500 Deluxe from
Fujitsu is a must investment for going paperless.
The fourth step in the software selecting process is to talk with your current vendor.
This means that before doing any moves, try to fix the issue with the current vendor.
There is a trend in the airfreight to become paper-less as much as possible. CHAMP is
61
the company, who has designed the Cargospot, main IT-system of Swissport
worldwide. Therefore, it is wise to start searching from current vendor, CHAMP.
Factually, there is a solution, designed by the CHAMP, called “eCargo Pouch”. This
program complies with IATA’s e-freight program. It is a cloud-based and can handle
both electronic messages from Cargospot and supporting documents such as invoices,
acceptance check sheets and etc. (Champ.aero, 2016). At the first glance it looks like a
perfect solution for the problem. This is where author recommends to start the search
from.
62
8
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Appendix 1
1 (1)
Live Warm-blooded animal acceptance checklist example
(Advocate, 2016)
Appendix 2
1 (1)
Process change concept mapping
Appendix 3
1 (2)
Trip-file Project’s results evaluation. Qualitative questionnaire
Background (circle the answer)
1. Which Organization do you represent?
1. Swissport (Management) 2.LCAG (Management)
3. Swissport (Workers)
NOMINAL SCALE
Trip-file project processes and outcomes evaluation
2. On scale from 1 to 5 (1 very dissatisfied, 5 very satisfied) rate the solution
implemented, and the overall outcome of the “trip-file project”?
1
2
3
4
5
ITEMIZING RATING SCALE
3. How would you rate effectiveness of data transmitting improvement? (Mark an X)
Insignificant
Splendid
CONTINIOUS RATING SCALE
4. How would you rate effectiveness of document quality improvement? (Mark an X)
Insignificant
Splendid
CONTINIOUS RATING SCALE
Trip-file creating process feedback (part exclusively for workers)
Please underline one answer which match your opinion on following questions
5.0 With new “trip-file” creating process I spend more time for creating a single trip-file.
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Undecided
Agree
Strongly agree
5.1 With new “trip-file” creating process my work routine become better
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Undecided
Agree
Strongly agree
5.2 With new “trip-file creating process” it is much more difficult to make a mistake in
trip-file
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Undecided
Agree
Strongly agree
LIKERT SCALE
Appendix 3
2 (2)
Personal attitude towards the project. Mark the most appropriate answer at the blank
with an X.
6.0 Express your attitude to the trip-file preliminary process (gathering information,
discussing, and feedbacks).
Distressing _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Joyful
Downwards _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Encouraging
Inefficient _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Efficient
6.1 Express your attitude to the trip-file process outcomes implementation.
Slow _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Fast
Bureaucratic _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Easy
Antagonistic _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Welcoming
SEMANTINC DIFFERENTIAL SCALE
Improvements
7. Below are listed statements about possible future improvements, which are needed for
performing GHA activities/customer service more efficient. Please mark the most
appropriate answer following the scale 1 to 5, where 1 completely disagree, 5 completely
agree.
Completely
Disagre
Undecide
Agre
Completely
disagree
e
d
e
agree
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
Tablets must be used by terminal
at acceptance (possible W+M tool,
and other extra tools)
Tablets must be used by terminal
for Build-up (replacing build up
list)
“3D gate” is the first priority
investment
e-Document circulation, for fast
and
easy
access
to
each
document relevant for the flight
(special software needed)
Waiting
room
for
truck
drivers(Kettle, Micro, Wi-Fi)
LIKERT SCALE & RATING SCALE
Here bellow you can write other comments and suggestions about project and persons
involved. Thank you for your feedback!
Fly UP